Pakistan rolls out red carpet for Prince William and Kate Middleton
British royal couple – Prince William and Kate Middleton – arrived in Pakistan on Monday night, beginning a five-day visit that will focus on boosting ties and people-to-people relations.
The couple was received by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Britain’s envoy Thomas Drew as they disembarked from a British Royal Air Force plane at Nur Khan airbase in Rawalpindi.
Kate and Wills were given flowers by local children in traditional dress when they stepped off the British Government’s RAF Voyager plane.
Kate was wearing a traditional shalwar kameez, an ombré turquoise dress and pants by Catherine Walker, plus cream-colored high-heels.
They did not take their three children, Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 4, or Prince Louis, 1, with them due to strict security.
During their five-day tour, they will visit the capital city of Islamabad, Lahore, the western countryside, and the mountainous northern regions to focus on girls’ education, national security, arts and culture, business, and conservation.
Visit to strengthen close cultural ties between Pakistan and UK
They are expected to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Dr Arif Alvi on October 15 after which they would reportedly travel to Lahore on October 16 and later to Chitral (Oct 17).
The Duke and Duchess have asked that the tour allow them opportunities to meet as many Pakistanis as possible. They “will visit programmes which empower young people, and organisations that help ensure they have the best possible start in life” teh statement said, adding that access to quality education, “particularly to girls and young women is one of the UK’s top priorities in Pakistan.”
Royal couple want to build a lasting friendship with Pakistani people
Speaking ahead of the latest royal visit, British envoy Thomas Drew said Prince William and Kate’s visit would showcase Pakistan as “a forward-looking country”.
“They hope to meet as many Pakistanis as possible during the course of the visit,” the British high commissioner said in a video message on Twitter. “They are looking forward to building a lasting friendship with the people of Pakistan.”
Pakistan and the Royal family
This will be the first royal tour to the country since 2006 when Prince Charles and Camilla, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, travelled to Pakistan.
British ambassador Thomas Drew remarked in his video message “I have always been struck by the warmth in Pakistan towards the royal family, and the fond memories of previous visits” citing Pakistan’s love and affection for the royal family.
Prince William’s grandmother, the ruling monarch Queen Elizabeth II, visited Pakistan in 1961 and again in 1997.
However, the most memorable royal tours for Pakistan remain the visits by his mother, the late Princess Diana, in 1991, 1996 and 1997.