Hillary Clinton, Jackie Kennedy, Princess Diana, Kate Middleton – and soon Melania Trump: first lady will join long line-up of royals and fashion icons to pose in front of Taj Mahal, the world’s greatest monument to love
- Melania Trump will join a long line of royals and fashionable women when she visits the Taj Mahal
- The Trumps will visit it Monday at sunset
- Princess Diana famously sat alone on a bench during her 1992 visit
- William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, visited in 2016
- Jackie Kennedy visited in March 1962
- Hillary and Chelsea Clinton visited in 1995 when Chelsea was 15
Melania Trump will join a long line of royals and fashionable women when she visits the Taj Mahal on Monday.
Princess Diana, Kate Middleton, Hillary Clinton and Jackie Kennedy are among the famous women who have posed in front of the white marble monument to love.
President Donald Trump and the first lady will join that list Monday evening when they pay a sunset visit to the one of the world’s most famous landmarks.
The couple are embarking on a two-day visit to India amid a trade war with the United States and Delhi.
Melania Trump will join a long line of royals and fashionable women when she visits the Taj Mahal on Monday
An iconic photo of Princess Diana was taken in 1992 when she visited the Taj Mahal alone
Prince William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, visited the Taj and sat on the same bench in April 2016
Jackie Kennedy posed for photographers during her 1962 visit
Then-first lady Hillary Clinton and Chelsea, 15, visited the Taj Mahal in 1995
And while politics is on the agenda, so is some sight seeing, including a stop at one of the most famous monuments in the world.
Built by a Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1643, the Taj Mahal is a tomb for his wife Mumtaz Mahal.
He built it for his favorite wife after she died giving birth to their 14th child. He is also buried there.
It has 25,000 daily visitors, rising to 80,000 during the peak tourist season.
The tomb is the center piece of a 42-acre complex, which includes a mosque and a guest house, and is set in formal gardens bounded on three sides by a crenellated wall.
In front it is what is now called the Diana bench – named after the late Princess of Wales. Diana sat on the bench for photographers during her 1992 visit to the country, shortly before the breakup of her marriage.
The resulting photo of her sitting alone, looking forlorn during a stop at the monument to love, was interpreted as an insight to the state of her marriage to Charles, Princes of Wales, and her solitude within the royal family.
Prince Charles, when a bachelor, had promised to bring his wife to the Taj Mahal. Instead, while Diana visited the monument, he met with local business leaders.
William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, recreated the photo when they visited the Taj Mahal in 2016 – close to their fifth wedding anniversary.
The duke said the visit was intended to make new memories.
First ladies also have visited the famous monument.
Diana, Princess of Wales visits patients at the Mother Teresa’s Hospice in Calcutta during one of her trips to India
Then-First lady Laura Bush hugs children in New Delhi during a March 2006 visit
Michelle Obama was dubbed the ‘Dancing Queen’ when she danced with school children in Mumbai during the Obamas 2010 visit
Then President Obama and Michelle Obama get a tour of Humayun’s tomb in 2010
Jackie Kennedy, during her successful tour to India in March 1962, posed for photographers in a green and white patterned dress.
She was accompanied on her trip by her sister Lee Radziwill.
Jackie Kennedy, who Melania Trump is said to admire and emulate, rode a camel, feed a baby elephant, attended a polo match, and met with school children during her time in the country. She also visited with then-Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton also visited the Taj Mahal during the Clintons’ time in the White House.
The two were on a 12-day tour of South Asia in March of 1995.
‘When I was little, this was sort of the embodiment of the fairy-tale palace for me. I would see pictures of it and would dream I was a princess or whatever. Now that I’m here, it’s spectacular,’ Chelsea Clinton told reporters at the time of her visit to the Taj. She was 15 years old.
Michelle Obama joined her husband on his 2010 trip to India.
The then-first lady met with Mumbai’s street children, played hopscotch with them, and danced to a Bollywood number.
‘Dancing Queen Michelle Rocks India,’ was the local headline about her visit.
Oprah Winfrey visited the Taj Mahal in January 2012 for her new talk show
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and their children pose for photographs during their 2018 visit
Monkey police will be on hand at the Taj Mahal to prevent a diplomatic incident while the Trumps visit the famous monument to love
William and Kate during their visit; William said the trip was to create new memories
Jackie Kennedy feeds an elephant during her 1962 visit
First Lady Jackie Kennedy and sister Lee Radziwill during their 1962 visit
The Obamas were scheduled to visit the Taj Mahal but their visit to Agra was axed after Obama cut his India trip short so he could stop in Saudi Arabia on his way back home to pay tribute to King Abdullah, who passed away recently.
To make the Trumps’ trip run smoothly, Indian officials have been pouring fresh water into the Yamuna river that runs alongside the Taj Mahal to help stifle its smell, caused by raw sewage and waste being tipped into the waterway.
The river is so polluted in some places that no marine life can survive in it.
Workers also have scrubbed walls and fountains at the white-marble monument so it will be spick and span for the Trumps’ visit.
There will also be extra monkey police on hand to prevent any diplomatic incidents. Rhesus monkeys are a common sight around the monument and have taken to harassing the tourists.
It’s unusual for the president to visit a cultural site – his trips to other countries are usually focused on meetings with officials and business at hand – but Trump could have a special interest in the Taj Mahal.
During his building days in the 1980s, he built the Trump Taj Mahal hotel and casino in Atlantic City. It opened in 1990 and cost nearly $1 billion to construct.
It came to closing in 2014 as its parent company went through bankruptcy, but ultimately remained open under the new ownership. It was sold again in October 2016 to the Hard Rock Cafe and reopened under that name.
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