The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge landed in Mumbai on Sunday, marking the beginning of their first visit to India. Prince William and Kate Middleton received a red carpet welcome at the Taj Mahal Hotel, where they will be staying during their royal tour of India. The two honored the victims of a 2008 terrorist attack, played cricket and attended a Bollywood gala to raise fund for charities.
The trip doesn’t include their royal babies, two-year-old Prince George and Princess Charlotte, 11 months
The two placed a wreath of white flowers on a memorial site to honor the 31 victims of the Mumbai terror attacks, in which Islamist extremists carried out a three-day siege in November 2008 at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. Kensington Palace tweeted that William and Kate met with hotel staff who helped protect guests during the horrible event.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge later joined a local cricket game in Mumbai’s Oval Maidan recreation ground, where they played with cricket legend and one of India’s biggest stars, Sachin Tendulkar. Kate managed to wield a cricket bat as the acclaimed player bowled a delivery to her. She gracefully enjoyed the game showcasing a 3/4-sleeve pink, red and teal patterned Anita Dongre frock.
Prince William showed off his prowess at the game as the royal couple took part in several sporting activities alongside local children. They also visited young boys and girls from three non-governmental organizations: Magic Bus, Childline, and Doorstep.
After having fun in the park, William and Kate visited the ancient Banganga Water Tank, where dancers in traditional outfits greeted them and presented with flower garlands. The royal couple kindly placed flower petals in the water.
Wearing a stunning long sleeve, flowing sapphire gown by Jenny Packham, Kate attended a Bollywood gala alongside his husband in the evening to raise funds for the charities they had met in the middle of their diverse activities during the day. Local actors who joined the gala included Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ star, Anil Kapoor. Politicians also attended the event.
Deadly temple fires in Kollam, South India
On their arrival in India, Kate and William were informed on the tragedy in Kollam, where a fireworks display exploded at the Puttingal temple at 3:15 a.m. on Sunday. Authorities said 98 people were killed and more than 540 resulted injured, CNN reported.
The Duke and Duchess expressed they were “saddened by the news and send their thoughts to all who are assisting the victims”, according to a spokesman for Kensington Palace.
The royal tour of India includes a visit to New Delhi, Kaziranga National Park in the state of Assam, the Himalayan kingdom of Buthan and Agra.