It has been announced by Kensington Palace that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit Bhutan in the spring, coinciding with the couple’s visit to India.
The visit is being carried out at the request of the government and it will be the first time William and Kate will visit the South Asian country.
Royal aides say that the Duke and Duchess are looking forward to the trip to the country, which is dubbed as the “Land of the Thunder Dragon” in Bhutanese.
It is a secluded county, located in the Himalayas between India and China, and was almost completely cut off from the outside world for many years.
Until a few years ago, external influences such as television were banned as the country believed they would undermine the monarchy and Bhutan’s culture.
Television was finally allowed into the country in 1999, the same year, as the internet.
Slavery was only abolished in 1958, and the first foreign tourists were allowed to visit in 1974.
Bhutan hasn’t been visited by British royals as much as other countries in the world. The most recent visit was undertaken by the Duke of York in 2010, and before that the Prince of Wales in 1998.
Bhutan has been keen to promote its relationship with the United Kingdom, and the impending visit will strengthen these ties.
The country’s monarch, King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, has been credited with bringing democracy to the country with a parliament being introduced two years after he took the throne.
The King and Queen of Bhutan visited the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House in 2011, 13 years after Charles’ visit to the country.
A full itinerary has not yet been released of what engagements the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will undertake whilst in Bhutan or India.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte will not be joining their parents on their visit to Asia.
It has also been announced today that Prince Harry will make a trip to Nepal later this year.