Bri­tish Roy­als Hike To Moun­tain Monastery In Bhutan

Bhutan Times - - Editorial -

PARO VAL­LEY, BHUTAN: Bri­tain’s Duke and Duchess of Cam­bridge trekked on Fri­day to a Bud­dhist monastery on a moun­tain­side in Bhutan, go­ing one bet­ter than the duke’s fa­ther, Prince Charles, who on a 1998 trip broke off his hike to paint a wa­ter­colour.

Prince Wil­liam and wife Kate dressed down for the three-hour ex­pe­di­tion to the so-called Tiger’s Nest that is perched on a moun­tain­side at 3,000 me­tres (10,000 feet).

Kate’s out­fit fea­tured knee-length boots, olive trousers and a leather waist­coat, while Wil­liam wore an open-necked shirt and beige slacks. The cou­ple stopped along the way to smile for the cam­eras be­fore the back­drop of the 17th cen­tury Tak­t­sang Pal­phug Monastery across the Paro val­ley.

“It was amaz­ing,” Wil­liam said af­ter the climb.

“Beau­ti­ful scenery as you saw and with the moun­tains like this, the tem­ples at the top - it was just stun­ning to walk up there,” he added in a sen­ti­ment echoed by Kate.

Wil­liam ad­mit­ted that af­ter an easy start “it was a lit­tle bit cheeky on the sec­ond part, def­i­nitely.”

Re­minded of Prince Charles’ visit, he said: “Well, my fa­ther didn’t make it to the top. That’s some­thing I’ll be re­mind­ing him of when I see him.”

AIR AP­PAR­ENT

Porters were on hand, in­clud­ing one with an oxy­gen cylin­der, but the cou­ple - Wil­liam is 33, Kate a year older - man­aged with­out dif­fi­culty as they walked ear­lier hand-in-hand through sun­lit wooded up­lands.

The royal cou­ple fi­nally got some time to them­selves on the sixth day of their hec­tic tour of In­dia and Bhutan, where they were wel­comed on Thurs­day by the young - and equally glam­orous - king and queen of the tiny Hi­malayan na­tion.

On Satur­day, they re­turn to In­dia to visit the Taj Ma­hal, which was built in 1632 by Mughal Em­peror Shah Ja­han in mem­ory of his favourite wife.

Wil­liam’s mother, the late Princess Diana, vis­ited in 1992 and was mem­o­rably pho­tographed sit­ting alone on a bench in front of the mar­ble mau­soleum.

News­pa­pers have re­ported that the Bri­tish High Com­mis­sion had asked for scaf­fold­ing, erected for re­pair work, to be re­moved from the onion-domed Taj Ma­hal. The Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey of In­dia turned down the re­quest.

There are also con­cerns that the site may be over­run by tourists when Wil­liam and Kate are there, as it only closes for vis­its by heads of state or govern­ment. The Bri­tish High Com­mis­sion in New Delhi did not re­ply to a re­quest for com­ment.

There has been fierce com­pe­ti­tion among news or­gan­i­sa­tions try­ing to se­cure the best spot on a view­ing plat­form for the most sought af­ter shot of Wil­liam, sec­ond in line to the throne, and Kate.

Bri­tain’s Prince Wil­liam, Duke of Cam­bridge and his wife Cather­ine, Duchess of Cam­bridge, spin prayer wheels at the Paro Tak­t­sang Monastery, Bhutan. (Reuters Photo)

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