Ahead of their first official visit to Pakistan, today the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the Aga Khan Centre in London to attend a special event hosted by His Highness the Aga Khan.” It was announced in June this year that the royal couple will visit Pakistan in autumn. I believe the itinerary will be released later this week with what I think few embargoed engagements.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will embark on the 5 days long tour at the request of the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office on October 14 and will be back in London on October 18. Their three kids will reportedly stay back in London.
William and Catherine’s visit will be the first visit of this decade to the commonwealth country. William’s father Charles, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visited Pakistan 13 years ago in 2006. Previously, Queen Elizabeth II has also visited Pakistan, first in 1961, then in 1997.
William’s mother Diana, the Princess of Wales travelled to Pakistan on three occasions – September 1991 on an official solo visit and then privately in 1996 to help raise money to build the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and in 1997 to officially open the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital.
William and Catherine’s last major tour abroad was to Sweden and Norway in January 2018.
The couple also travelled to Cyprus last December to deliver Christmas presents to the members of the 11 Squadron at RAF Akrotiri.
High Commissioner for Pakistan to the United Kingdom, Mohammad Nafees Zakaria in a statement said: “The Government and the people of Pakistan warmly welcome the announcement of the Royal Visit by Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Pakistan this year. People of Pakistan still cherish and fondly recall the visits by the Queen.”
The High Commissioner described the upcoming trip as a “reflection of the importance the United Kingdom attaches to its relations to Pakistan as the two countries enjoy historical links which both sides wish to strengthen further.” As per Britain’s Department of International Trade, the bilateral trade was said to be worth almost $4 billion in 2017, with the UK currently Pakistan’s third-largest source of foreign investment after China and the Netherlands. Britain is home to more than a million people of Pakistani origin, making it the largest Pakistani diaspora in Europe.
For today’s event, the William and Catherine are being hosted by the current Aga Khan, Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini at the Aga Khan Centre in London’s King’s Cross. His Highness the Aga Khan is the grandson of Aga Khan III, the first president of the All-India Muslim League, who was born in what is now Pakistan.
The Aga Khan, the founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), succeeded his grandfather, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan, as is the 49th hereditary Imam (Spiritual Leader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslims in 1957 at the age of 20. For more than 60 years, he has dedicated his efforts to improving the quality of life of the most vulnerable populations, emphasizing the view of Islam as a faith that teaches compassion and tolerance and that upholds human dignity.
The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) is a network of private, non-denominational development agencies, which work primarily in the poorest parts of Asia and Africa.
The AKDN has been working in Pakistan for over a century to improve the quality of life, promote pluralism, and enhance civil society. Through its development agencies, AKDN works with over four thousand local women’s and village organizations and provides a broad range of services within the country, including school improvement programmes, conservation projects, and healthcare facilities.
The Aga Khan Centre in London’s King’s Cross was inaugurated on Tuesday, 26 June 2018, by His Highness the Aga Khan and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. Located in London’s thriving Knowledge Quarter, the Centre is a place of education, knowledge, cultural exchange and insight into Muslim civilizations and is the new UK home for three organizations founded by His Highness: The Institute of Ismaili Studies, Aga Khan University Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilizations, and the Aga Khan Foundation UK.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met with individuals from Pakistan living, studying or working in the UK. The event showcased modern Pakistani culture and allowed The Duke and Duchess to meet a range of people from Pakistan, including community leaders, those involved in British and Pakistani business, and key figures of the Pakistani community, including musicians, chefs and artists.
The winner of BBC’s 2017 Masterchef show, Dr Saliha Mahmood Ahmed was among the guest. During the visit, Duke and Duchess said they looking forward to the food in Pakistan when they visit on October 14. Rebecca English on Twitter reported, ” Duchess said she cooked curry at home, creating one version for their three children and another for the adults. But she added: “Charlotte is pretty good with heat.”
She wrote on her Instagram page, “My heart is full of joy today. It was one of the most memorable of my life. I had the privilege of meeting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton and at an event hosted by the magnificent philanthropist himself, His Highness Aga Khan, a kind and generous soul whose aura and charisma filled the room with joy. I was quite astounded that William and Kate actually like watching “.
Among the guests were DJ and Producer Naughty Boy, tabla virtuoso Shahbaz Hussain, flute maestro Muhammad Noman and Maha Malik from Live Music Producer Serious Live. William and Catherine chose Naughty Boy’s songs for the Heads Together charity campaign in 2016. His creation ‘Heaven with Emeli Sande’ was chosen by Duchess, while Prince Harry chose Runnin’ featuring Beyonce. The DJ presented Duchess with given an evil eye brooch.
From the Press Association story,
“Referring to the upcoming official visit, the duke appeared to be looking forward to eating the local cuisine – saying he will need to bring “a bigger suit” with a “bit of expansion” for the trip.Another group discussion saw Mr Manzoor, who adapted his own 2007 memoir Greetings from Bury Park into Blinded By The Light, gave a copy of his book to the duke to “read on the plane”.
The couple laughed as Mr Manzoor removed the book from his back pocket, with the duke joking: “What else have you got in your pockets?” “I said this is probably smashing all sorts of protocol,” Mr Manzoor told reporters afterwards. “They were quite surprised I managed to get it out of my pocket but I thought it would give them an insight into Pakistani culture.”
He added that the couple had expressed they wanted to watch the film, directed and co-written with Gurinder Chadha, before their trip. On the duke’s wariness of spicy food, Mr Manzoor added: “They were saying he likes medium spice – I don’t think it exists in Pakistan.”
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with His Highness the Aga Khan during the visit. The couple also met with the High Commissioner of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan His Excellency Mohammad Nafees Zakaria during the visit. After the visit, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Mr Thomas Drew at Kensington Palace.
Before leaving, Duchess received a comparatively large but lovely bouquet from kids.
A video of the day.
Giving the hosts and Pakistan a sartorial node, the Duchess was looking really elegant in the floor-length green Amanda silk-georgette maxi dress from ARoss Girl x Soler. Thanks to Richard Palmer for the id. Green is a primary colour of Pakistan’s National flag. Duchess dress was a perfect choice for the occasion – a mix of elegance, modesty and royalty.
The £825 dress is described as, “This ARoss Girl x Soler dress is one of those universally flattering pieces that’ll suit everyone. This silk-georgette style is cut for a loose fit and has a comfortable elasticated waist that allows the skirt to drape elegantly to the floor. While the body is fully lined, the sleeves are left sheer which adds a romantic, bohemian feel to the overall look. Using the hook fastening you can create a round or V-neckline”.
If this was the glimpse of what we will be seeing during the Pakistan visit, I am really excited and looking forward to seeing rich and vibrant textures just like the hosting country.
A closer look at the dress fabric. The dress is currently available in size medium for 30% off. (Id by HeavenQRF). The Countess of Wessex Sophie is a rather loyal customer of Amanda Ross, who has previously worked for Harper’s Bazaar.
Catherine paired the dress with a new pair of earrings. She was wearing $8 Dazzling Ceramic Drops. The earrings are another node to the host country as the earrings are from Pakistani designer Zeen. The beautiful earrings were not only complementing her outfit but also her green eyes and green eyeshadow. I hope Catherine will wear or more designs from Zeen during the visit. Zeen has a nationwide presence with 27 outlets all over Pakistan.
Duchess was wearing her Emmy London Green Suede Rebecca Pumps debuted on St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2017.
She was carrying her matching Emmy London’s Natasha Greenery & Gold Clutch debuted at the Anzac Day Service in April 2019.
In other news, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are really busy working behind the scene. The tea time with Cambridges on Twitter noted some interesting entries in Court Circular.
Duchess also lends her support to Sports Aid Week organized by her charity Sports aid.
Dress like Duchess