British royal couple arrives in Assam to warm welcome

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Tezpur (Assam), April 12 (IANS) Britain’s royal couple Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton arrived to a red carpet welcome here in Assam on Tuesday evening.

The couple arrived at the Salonibari airport in Tezpur around 5.30 p.m., and were received by Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, his wife Dolly Gogoi and senior officials of the state government.

While Gogoi welcomed Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, with a Seleng Chador (shawl) of famous Assamese pat silk and a bouquet of flowers, Dolly Gogoi welcomed the the Duchess of Cambridge also with a Seleng Chador and a bouquet.

The state government had lined up cultural troupes at the airport to welcome the royal couple on their maiden visit to the state.

Artistes performed Bihu, Sattriya and Jhumur dances inside the airport to welcome the guests.

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Traditional sweets and delicacies like laru, pitha, patot diya mas (fish steamed in banana leaf), chungat diya mangsho (meat cooked inside bamboo shoot) were served.

The royal couple tasted some of the delicacies and spent about 40 minutes at the airport, exchanging views with the chief minister and others.

They headed directly to the Kaziranga National Park in a convoy of vehicles under tight security.

School children lined up in hundreds outside the airport in Tezpur to have a glimpse of the royal couple.

As their cavalcade drove away, the waiting children waved and cheered.

The Kaziranga National Park has also been put under tight security, and adequate arrangements have been made to welcome the couple.

Prince William and Kate would be taken to the Difflo River Lodge adjacent to the national park.

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The couple are expected to go for a jeep safari in the western range of Bagori for around two hours and interact with some of the forest guards.

Senior park officials will give a presentation to the couple on Wednesday about the flora and fauna of the national park, the one-horned rhinos and the park management.

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