The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge continued their tour of India and Bhutan today. They had a busy day, which started in Mumbai, and then took them to Delhi. TRH met with Young people, and tested their inventions in Mumbai. They laid a wreath at India’s National War Memorial, and visited the last home of Gandhi. Later, the Duke and Duchess attended a Garden Party, celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday next week.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge started their day in Mumbai, at an event hosted by the GREAT campaign, an organization promoting Britain oversees, at a restaurant and collaborative workspace called The Social. TRH met young people, who are developing ideas, that will power India’s massive economy in the future. The Duke tried out a racing car stimulator, while the Duchess looked on. The couple were shown an automatic dosa making machine, which the Duke tested by pouring batter, and waiting until it was cooked. He took a bite, declared it delicious, but the Duchess denied a bite. TRH were also shown a Braille typing machine made by a local company, and wore blindfold as they tried their hand at typing letters by following instructions. They spelled the word George. The Duke gave a speech to launch the Tech Rocketship Awards, which he began with the words ‘Namaste Mumbai!’ HRH said: ‘Catherine and I are very impressed by the energy and ideas we have just seen. Being here today, it is clear that India is leading the way in so many areas of innovation and technology. Your ability to innovate is not just good news for India but it’s great news for the world. With one sixth of the world’s population, young innovators like you must play a major role.’ At the conclusion, he pressed a button which set off a series of exploding piñatas filled with metallic foil confetti. He joked: ‘All this innovation and we get this!’
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The Duke and Duchess then boarded a flight to Delhi, the capital of India. Their first engagement was paying their respects to India’s war dead at the country’s national memorial,India Gate, where they laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Duchess struggled with her dress during the windy ceremony. After posing for unprecedented photographs, TRH visited a museum in Old Birla House, where Mahatma Gandhi, India’s founding father, spent the last few years of his life. After viewing the Gandhi Smriti, an museum dedicated to the life and legacy of Mahatma Gandhi, TRH moved to the Garden. The couple were shown a bronze statue, before making their way to the spot where Gandhi was assassinated. After scattering rose petals at the location where the Indian hero was killed, the Duke and Duchess listened to a local choir. They were also shown a spinning wheel demonstration, similar to one used by Gandhi.
The last engagement today was a garden party at the House of the British High Commissioner to India, to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday Party. TRH walked through the grounds of the Palatial House, greeting their 2000 guests. It was a lavish reception with canapés that included Murg Malai Tikka, Aloo Sabutdana Ki Tikki and, for the British, apple Stilton Welsh Rarebits, mini beer battered fish and chips, and thin crust cheese and tomato pizza. The Duchess received comments such as: “You look much better in person than in your photographs”, and “How do you lose all the weight after having two kids?” to which she replied “I am running after my kids”. The Duke chatted with pilot Commandant TP Cherian, who revealed that the Duke is very passionate about helicopters. ‘He wanted to know about what kind of helicopters we flew and how many crew there are. I don’t think he wanted to stop talking about it.’
In his speech, Prince William paid tribute to his grandmother, the Queen, saying: ‘Tonight, we are celebrating the links between our two countries. This is the first time Catherine and I have been to India and we have been incredibly impressed to see just how much this great country is on the move, and how India’s dynamism is matched by the warmth and welcome of its diverse people. I am honoured that we also have a chance, tonight, to celebrate a very happy milestone for the United Kingdom and for my family in particular. Next week, Her Majesty The Queen, my grandmother, turns 90. I am so grateful to all of you for turning out tonight to help us mark that occasion. ‘The Queen is very fond of India, having visited this great country three times during her reign. And India of course is the biggest country in the Commonwealth, the family of nations to which she has committed so much of her life’s work. India’s contribution to the Commonwealth is something that is enormously important to her. As my grandmother’s birthday gives us a chance to celebrate the partnership between our nations, I hope you don’t mind if I take the opportunity to pay tribute to The Queen on a more personal note. I am incredibly lucky to have my grandmother in my life. As she turns 90, she is a remarkably energetic and dedicated guiding force for her family. And I am so glad that my children are having the chance to get to know The Queen. George and Charlotte, too, will discover how lucky they are to have such a wonderful great-grandmother – a role model for the rest of their lives. He also read out a message from his grandmother to the assembled guests, prompting much laughter as he said: ‘Now, it is important that everyone here tonight understands that I am here as The Queen’s representative. She may be my grandmother, but she is also very much the boss! And with that in mind, she has given me a message that I am privileged to read out to you all tonight: “Prince Philip and I send our warmest good wishes to all you attending this special Garden Party. I am delighted that The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been able to join you this afternoon during their visit to your country. I have fond memories of our previous visits to India. This event today is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the enduring friendship between our two countries, our shared culture and the business opportunities we can create together. It is with great pleasure that I entrust another generation of my family to strengthen and renew our bonds. Signed, Elizabeth R. ‘Now I can report back to Granny that I have done my duty!’
After finishing his speech, the Duke and Duchess moved towards the cake. The Duke handed the sword to the Duchess, much to her surprise, which they used to cut the cake. After cutting the cake, they moved off the stage, and into the crowd, where they continued to mingle. The speech and the cake made a very fitting end to Day 2.
For the first three engagements, the Duchess wore a cream dress by Emilia Wickstead, along with the Cassandra Goad earrings worn yesterday. The Duke wore navy suit, with a blue and white polka dot tie. For the Garden party, the Duchess was wearing a top and skirt by Temperley London, along with large statement earrings. The Duke also changed his clothes, wearing another navy suit, this time with a red tie.