Unprecedented welcome awaits Prince William, Kate Middleton in Pakistan

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By Muhammad Luqman

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, will arrive in Pakistan on Monday night on the five-day royal tour from Oct 14 to 18 .

The visit comes 13 years after Charles and Camilla – the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwell – toured the country in November 2006. Pakistan still vividly remembers the late Princess Diana, the prince William’s mother’s visit in 1996.

According to media reports,  the royal couple will meet Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Arif Alvi on Tuesday. Following their meeting with Khan and Alvi, the royal couple will travel to  Lahore on October 16 and Chitral on October 17.

“The UK’s links with Pakistan are extensive, and Their Royal Highnesses are looking forward to building a lasting friendship with the people of Pakistan,” read a statement by the royal couple’s spokesperson early this month.

During the course of their visit, Prince William and Kate “will pay respect to the historical relationship between Britain and Pakistan” but the larger focus will remain “on showcasing Pakistan as it is today – a dynamic, aspirational and forward-looking nation,” read the statement.

The handout, released by Kensington Palace, currently the official residence of the Duke and Duchess, said that the tour will encompass “the modern leafy capital Islamabad, the vibrant city of Lahore, the mountainous countryside in the North, and the rugged border regions to the West.”

“The visit will span over 1,000km, and will take in Pakistan’s rich culture, its diverse communities, and it’s beautiful landscapes,” it added.

They will also interact with organisations “which empower young people and ensure they have the best possible start in life”.

“Access to quality education, particularly to girls and young women is one of the UK’s top priorities in Pakistan,” mentioned the statement.

Moreover, they are expected to meet with “a wide variety of people, including children and young people, leaders from government, business and the charity sector, inspiring conservationists, and well-known cultural figures and sporting stars.”

More than 1,000 police will secure the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Pakistan . The visit will be held under unprecedented security for a trip by the couple, as they travel across the country in what Kensington Palace described as their most complex visit ever undertaken.

The itinerary of their five-day stay was being tightly guarded by the military, with local media only being told details at the last minute. Even the security passes to the media will be issued hours before the arrival of the royal dignitaries.

Ahead of couple’s visit, Pakistani media has initiated a debate on what princes Kate Middleton will wear and eat during her stay in the South Asian country.

The action-packed five-day tour will see Kate in a number of different outfits for each occasion, but will she follow in Meghan’s “sustainable” footsteps and re-wear some fan favourites? Or will she follow in Princess Diana’s footsteps and don several traditional styles?

 

People of Lahore and Karachi have suggested that the couple should relish on the traditional dishes like Biryani and Palao that surely does not fit in the palatability of the British.

 

With a cultural need for modest clothing and scorching temperatures in the capital os Islamabad, Kate could potentially follow the lead of Princess Diana, who undertook a solo royal tour in 1991 to Pakistan.

In 1991, Diana was pictured wearing several traditional lightweight styles by wearing Dupatta and oriental dresses that bowed in respect to the fashion and culture of Pakistan.

Although Kate has not previously worn an outfit such as this, Kate did adopt a floaty Beulah dress and headscarf to visit a mosque in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2012.

Previously Kate has been praised on her diplomatic dressing and has been branded “conscientious” and “respectful” by royal fans around the world, according to British media reports.

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