Wearing a dress by the Mumbai designer Anita Dongre, the Duchess perched on tan wedges faced three balls from local children at the Oval in Mumbai. As the first tennis bowl came racing towards her, thrown by none other than Sachin Tendulkar, Kate was clean bowled first ball, before carrying on and making good contact with the next two. She slogged to mid on where she was caught out by a little boy from the slums.
The Royal official tour started in Mumbai on April 10, and the Duke and Duchess will travel to New Delhi, the Kaziranga National Park and Thimphu, capital of the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, and the Taj Mahal. In Mumbai the couple stayed at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.
The cricket match and the red carpet event that followed later that evening was organized to highlight the work of Door Step School, Childline and Magic Bus, three charities which all work in Mumbai’s slums to help protect the city’s most vulnerable children and give them an education.
“The event was expected to raise a six-figure sum for the three charities represented at the cricket ground, but the wealthy stars were still given a lesson in royal etiquette by the British High Commissioner Sir Dominic Asquith before they were asked to donate generously.
They were asked to stand when the royal couple entered the room and were told to put their phones away and not to take photographs or videos of the evening. He also asked them not to “besiege” the couple,” reported Gordon Rayner, chief reporter The Telegraph
Later that night the Duke said in a speech: “When Catherine and I were married, India was the first place on Catherine’s list that she told me that she wanted to visit. Two children and five years later, we have finally made it – and we are both honoured to be here.
“Catherine and I are full of admiration for this diverse and democratic society. No-one can come here without being awed and amazed; no-one can come without a sense of excitement about all that India has achieved in the past and the extraordinary promise it holds for the future.”
It will be interesting to see the picture the couple choose to take at the Taj Mahal in Agra where their mother, HRH Princess Diana had immortalized the loneliness of her marriage.