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Pakistan

APP
October 15, 2019

Visit of the royal couple to Pakistan rekindles fond memories of Lady Diana

Pakistan

APP
Tue, Oct 15, 2019

Prince William, Kate arrive to red carpet welcome in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD: Rekindling fond memories of the visit of Lady Diana to Pakistan in 1996, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Prince William and Kate Middleton arrived here Monday to a warm welcome, as the news channels interrupted their regular transmissions to break the news of arrival of the royal couple to Pakistan.

Arriving in their RAF’s Voyager A330 aircraft from Brize Norton, a red carpet was rolled out for the royals at the Nur Khan Air Base as Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi warmly received them. Bouquets were presented to the Duke and the Duchess by two children attired in traditional Pakistani dress. The Duchess shook hands with the little girl and thanked her for the beautiful flowers.

A contingent of the smartly turned out President’s body guards was at the airport to receive the royal guests.

The five-day visit is seen in Pakistan as an acknowledgment to the country’s success in countering terrorism that plagued the country for decades. The Royals are to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Dr Arif Alvi on Tuesday. The visit, the first for the couple to Pakistan is being undertaken “at the request of The Foreign and Commonwealth Office.”

“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,” the Palace said in a statement.

A strong security setup has been arranged during their visit, which will take the Royal couple to Pakistan’s scenic northern areas and the bustling cultural hub of Lahore. 

The Palace has already dubbed the trip as “the most complex tour undertaken by The Duke and Duchess to date.” However the streets of Lahore and Rawalpindi witnessed the tri-wheeler rickshaws painted in the colours of the Pakistani and British flags and pictures of the Royals, the news channels airing the news and their pictures and the people on enthusiastically followed the happenings on social media.

Attired in a turquoise bespoke Catherine Walker dress, matching trousers,according to British Media, earrings and clutch by a Pakistani brand Zeen, the Duchess was an instant hit on the social media where the hastag #RoyalVisitPakistan witnessed an unchecked rise to overshadow rest of the trends. The twitterti compared the styles and shades of dresses of Kate Middleton to those worn by Lady Diana during her visit to Pakistan.

There was an overwhelming outpouring of warm sentiments of welcome to Pakistan as the social media appreciated the grace and charm of the Duchess.

Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul Wazir in her tweet said “Wonderful to have the graceful royal couple visit our country.”

“You’ll find the people hospitable and loving, the sights and sounds are brilliant, and overall a nation which is delighted to have you with us.”

Similar sentiments were expressed by many others on Twitter where pictures and videos of Lady Diana along with Prime Minister Imran Khan were shared. Artist Waqas Ahmed Shaiq showed his skills by sketching out a portrait of the Cambridges on his Twitter account.

British High Commissioner to Islamabad in a video message earlier said that the visit would show the country of more than 210m as “dynamic, aspirational and forward-looking”.

The Royal Couple has left their three children – George, Charlotte and Prince Louis back home, as they meet the Pakistani youth and people from different walks of life.

“Their Royal Highnesses will also spend time understanding the complex security picture in Pakistan. They will learn more about the challenges and opportunities, both of the past and today. The UK has been a key partner for Pakistan, and The Duke and Duchess will meet UK and Pakistan military personnel who are sharing expertise to improve security,” the statement from the Kensington Palace said.