Welcome The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in Pakistan tonight on what has been described as the most ‘complex and challenging’ international tour of their fledgling royal careers.
Arriving at the Nur Khan air base in Rawalpindi just after 9.30pm the smiling royal couple were accorded a red-carpet reception as they left the British Government’s RAF Voyager plane together. They were met by a group of dignitaries and two young children in traditional dress who were pushed forwards to present Kate with a beautiful bouquet.
The duchess looked elegant in an aqua shalwar kameez – a traditional Pakistani outfit comprised of a flared kurti, a long shirt, and trousers – by British designer Catherine Walker. It echoed many of the outfits worn in the country by William’s late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, and was a respectful nod to tradition in the Muslim country.
The Duke of Cambridge is expected to say it is in the ‘best interests’ of the UK for Pakistan to succeed as he and his wife begin their tour.
At an evening reception on Tuesday, the couple’s first full day of engagements, the duke is set to say in a speech that the UK will continue to support the Commonwealth country as a ‘key partner and friend’. The visit hopes to strengthen ties between the two nations. The UK is seeking to improve its international relations with Brexit looming, while Pakistan hopes to promote itself as a tourist destination amid security fears.
‘Pakistan is the world’s sixth largest country by population,’ the duke is due to say. ‘It has an unbelievably diverse geography that spans deserts to glaciers and everything in between. It is the birth place of the youngest ever Nobel peace prize winner.
‘We share unique bonds and so it will always be in our best interests for Pakistan to succeed. Not least because of the 1.5 million people living in the UK with Pakistani origin and the fact that the UK is one of the biggest investors in Pakistan’s economy.
‘You can always rely on the UK to keep playing an important role as a key partner and friend.’