The Foreign Office has put an end to rumours surfacing of officials demanding the removal of Taj Mahal's iron scaffolding ahead of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's Royal tour of India. According to some reports, officials had sent forward the request to authorities in India to allow for a perfect photo for Kate Middleton and Prince William.
"We can confirm that this story is not correct. We did not request that the Taj Mahal remove the scaffolding," said a Foreign Office spokesman. An Indian newspaper had alleged that members of the British High Commission's advance team had requested the iron scaffolding on Taj Mahal's three minarets to be dismantled.
"Everyone wants to have a perfect picture at the Taj Mahal," an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) official told The Times of India newspaper, reported The Telegraph. "A lot of inquiries are received at the office where tourists, especially foreigners, want to know when the scaffolding would be removed. They say they would plan their visit accordingly."
Meanwhile, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were urged to cancel their India trip after police in Punjab sent out an alert saying terrorists might have crossed over into India from Pakistan. According to local authorities, Mumbai, Delhi and Goa are the target locations of the extremists. "We are not taking this threat lightly. We cannot rule out attacks," said an Indian security source.
The Royal tour will begin in Mumbai on 10 April and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expected to stay at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel, which was targeted by the Islamic militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba in 2008. The royal couple will then head to New Delhi, followed by Assam. The royal couple are travelling without Prince George and Princess Charlotte, and will reportedly stay in regular touch with their children via Skype.