GAUHATI, India — The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Bhutan on Thursday, meeting with the Himalayan nation’s popular king and queen with whom they have much in common.

After arriving in a jet on a windy Thursday morning, Prince William and his wife, the former Kate Middleton, checked into their hotel in the capital of Thimpu and later headed to the 13th-century royal fortress. From their vehicle, they were ushered by traditional dancers, flag-bearers, pipers, drummers and Buddhist monks down a 1,600-foot walkway to meet Bhutan’s King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema.

The royal pairs posed for photos in front of a statue of the laughing Buddha before going inside. Later, Will and Kate visited Thimphu’s open-air archery venue, with archers aiming at very small, brightly decorated wooden targets positioned 476 feet from where they stand.

In the evening, they were meeting the Bhutanese royal couple’s baby, born in February, and having a private dinner with Bhutan’s king and queen.

“Two of the world’s young royal couples are meeting. It’s a great message of friendship to the international community,” said Tenzin Lekphell, who heads a management institute in Thimphu.

On Friday, the British royal couple will hike to a Buddhist monastery called Tiger’s Nest, perched at an altitude of 10,000 feet, though there will be ponies on standby to help carry them should they tire on the trek.