William and Kate

Prince William and Kate to make poignant visit to Paris, 20 years after Princess Diana's death

by Sharnaz Shahid

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will undertake an official two-day visit to Paris next month, Kensington Palace has confirmed. The trip marks Prince William and his wife's first official visit to the French capital since his mother Princess Diana's tragic death, twenty years ago. The royal couple will spend two days in the city - March 17 and 18 - undertaking various engagements including a reception for young French leaders from a variety of fields and a formal black tie dinner at the residence of Her Majesty's Ambassador. They will also make an appearance at the Wales v France Six Nations test at the Stade de France.

Although this is the Duke and Duchess's first official visit to Paris, William has since been to the city for football and rugby matches as well as various unofficial trips. The father-of-two was just 15 and his brother Prince Harry was 12, when Princess Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris on 31 August 1997. Last month it was announced that the princes have set up a committee to commission and privately raise funds for a statue of the late Princess of Wales to be placed in the public gardens at Kensington Palace.

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Prince William and Kate will undertake an official two-day visit to Paris next month

As they prepare to mark the 20th anniversary of her death later this year, William and Harry said in a statement: "It has been 20 years since our mother's death and the time is right to recognise her positive impact in the UK and around the world with a permanent statue." They continued: "Our mother touched so many lives. We hope the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on her life and her legacy."

GALLERY: William and Kate lead loved-up couples at 2017 BAFTAs

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Princess Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris on 31 August 1997

Meanwhile, on Sunday night, Prince William and Kate made a glamourous appearance at the 2017 BAFTA awards. Turning heads as she passed by, Kate, 35, looked breathtaking in a bespoke strapless, tiered Alexander McQueen gown embellished with white flowers, and wore her hair swept back in a chignon to highlight her dazzling diamond chandelier earrings. William, 34, put on a dapper display in a black tuxedo as he proudly escorted his wife inside the iconic Royal Albert Hall. The Prince, who has served as president of BAFTA since 2010, was on hand to present the BAFTA Fellowship, the academy's lifetime achievement award, to veteran US comic Mel Brooks.

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