Prince William, Kate to visit Bhutan

LONDON: Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate are to visit Bhutan in the spring as part of an official trip that also takes in India, royal officials announced on Friday.

It will be couple’s first visit to Bhutan, and it is unclear whether they will be accompanied by their children, two-year-old Prince George and Princess Charlotte, who was born in May last year.

“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will make an official visit to Bhutan this spring,” a statement from their Kensington Palace residence said, using their official titles.

“The visit is being carried out at the request of Her Majesty’s Government and will be the first time Their Royal Highnesses have visited the country.”

Bhutan, known as the “last Shangri-La”, home to just 750,000 people, famously shuns conventional measures of economic wellbeing, instead compiling a Gross National Happiness in-dex. The popular 35-year-old King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, formally known as the Druk Gyalpo or Dragon King, and his wife Queen Jetsun Pema are expecting their first child, a son.

Like William and Kate, the couple married in 2011 in a ceremony that was a huge media event.

The first plans for William and Kate’s trip to Asia were announced during a visit to Britain by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November.