After a glamorous appearance at the reception last night, today the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were all set for another busy day in Pakistan. The couple headed to the northwestern region of the country – Chitral. They visited the Hindu Kush region, near the Afghan border.
As expected the itinerary was released in the early hours of Pakistan time. Chitral is the capital of the Chitral District, situated on the Chitral River in northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The royal couple is visiting the foothills of the Hindu Kush mountain range to witness the devastating effects of global warming and climate change – one of William’s focus area as senior royal.
The Hindu Kush region is an 800-kilometre-long (500 mi) mountain range that stretches through Afghanistan, from its centre to northern Pakistan and into Tajikistan and China – home to 250 million people. The mountainous region, which runs from Afghanistan to Myanmar, has been dubbed the “third pole” of the earth because it has more ice than anywhere outside the Arctic and Antarctica. Mount Tirich Mir is the highest peak, rising near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border to 25,230ft.
The range has great historical significance, in that invaders from Central Asia brought their Indo-European language through the high passes in around 1500 BC. The mountains have also provided access to the northern plains of India for such conquerors such as Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan. The name derives from the Arabic for “Mountains of India’.
William and Catherine wanted to highlight modern Pakistan and it’s culture and Chitral is one of the most suitable selection. In the region alone 14 languages are spoken given the ethnic diversity of the region.
Upon arrival in Chitral, William and Catherine were welcomed with several presents from Himalayan dignitaries. They were gifted traditional Chitrali hats. William received embroidered coat and Duchess was presented with a warm shawl, that Catherine immediately tried on.
The Daily Mail‘s royal correspondent, Rebecca English, tweeted, “Today William and Kate have flown north to see for themselves some of the beauty of the country but also the effects of climate change on glacial regions,”.
William and Kate received an official welcome to Chitral and were presented with a book of photographs of Diana, Princess of Wales’ visit to the region in 1991. Kate was given a regimental cap of the Chitral Scouts and a shawl, William an embroidered cloak #RoyalVisitPakistan pic.twitter.com/sLJ1AzHlXn
— Roya Nikkhah (@RoyaNikkhah) October 16, 2019
Before heading to visit the Chiatibo Glacier in Broghil National Park, William received a very special gift – a book commemorating Princess Diana’s visit to the country in 1991. He looked through the pages and said “The same hat” while Duchess described it as “very special”.
Diana visited the same place in 1991 and was also presented with a similar regimental cap of the Chitral Scouts regiment of Pakistan army William and Catherine received today. Usually, the cap is worn by the men but exception VIP Women guest is also presented with the cap when they visit the region.
During their time in Chitral, William and Catherine walked around the Chiatibo glacier’s northern tip in Broghil National Park seeing a melting glacier in person for the first time. They learned more from The glacier expert Furrukh Bashir about how climate change is impacting the glacial landscapes. The couple specifically asked for the visit and Palaced addressed it as “the very real consequences of global warming”.
In the mountains of Northern Pakistan, the stark effects of climate change and global warming are having a profound impact on the communities that call the region home. Here, The Duke and Duchess visited several inspiring community-led initiatives that aim to equip local society with the tools they need to adjust to the changing landscape and weather patterns of the area and the environmental challenges which are affecting their traditional way of life.
William talked to the media at the glacier, “Catherine and I felt it was very important to come to Pakistan and see the different range of environments there are and, and really try and get a feel of the country. But also to use our voice and lend our position and our visit to kind of talk about issues like climate change, issues about the environment. We’ve seen all around the world now, the young are getting very engaged in what’s going on.”
A video of the visit.
Update: In January 2020, The Duke of Cambridge launched a great initiative ‘ The Earthshot Prize – The most prestigious global environment prize in history.‘ To mark the announcement, Duke chose a picture of him sitting in a hill that was taken by The Duchess of Cambridge. The prize is described as, “Over the last ten years, the evidence that we face urgent challenges to protect the environment has become indisputable, and it’s clear that the time to act is now. Drawing inspiration from the concept of moonshots, which since the moon landing in 1969 has become shorthand to talk about the most ambitious and ground-breaking goals, Prince William announces the Earthshot Prize: an ambitious set of challenges to inspire a decade of action to repair the planet.” Find more about the prize here.
The Royal couple visited a site affected by a devastating flood in 2015 to See the impact of flash flooding caused by the melting glacier on local villages in Chitral Valley. The Duke and Duchess saw buildings and farmland destroyed in the severe floods of 2015.
Some 1.65 billion people are thought to rely on the rivers that flow from the peaks into countries which also include India and China. A report in February this year revealed that at least a third of the glacier range in the Himalayas are expected to have melted by 2100 even if carbon emissions are dramatically cut. The flash floods are causing real damage to the villages and farmlands threatening the livelihoods of the residents.
For ITV’s report,
At a time when, across the UK, protesters from Extinction Rebellion are demanding more action to combat climate change – here is a very real example of what planetary warming is doing. These are rural people who are doing very little to cause climate change – but they are suffering from its consequences.
A flash flood in 2015 caused severe damage in the remote valleys of the Chitral region – so William and Kate will see how the villagers are having to change their way of life to prevent people being killed by the floods.
In the West, we have focused a lot on the terrorism which has plagued Pakistan for many years.
Last night, Prince William paid his respects to all those who had “endured such sacrifice” but he also spoke of the alarming impact of temperature increases in “northern Pakistan’s highest mountains.”
“This could lead to a loss of over a third of these vital glaciers in less than a century,” William warned in a speech.
He spoke of the threats to a “critical water store for a quarter of a billion people” and the impact that will have on farming and electricity generation.
William and Catherine heard from local people affected by these floods, who explained how they are adapting their ways of life in response to flooding and other challenges posed by climate change.
The royal couple watched a drill conducted by volunteers from the local emergency response team. The team is supported by UK aid and was instrumental in preventing loss of life in 2015. They also saw a drill by a local Search and Rescue Team, who demonstrated their ability to evacuate casualties across a river.
In the area, William met a lady who was named after his mother Diana and then she named her son after his name William. Diana’s grandmother came to see Princess Diana during her visit to the region in 1991 when she had a granddaughter she was named after the Princess of Wales.
The last stop of the day was a settlement of the Kalash people to “learn about their community, unique heritage and traditions”. William and Catherine joined children and young people from the tribe in the village square and heard how the Kalash coexist alongside the other communities that call the region home.
The Duke and Duchess were welcomed by the local people dressed in colourful attires. They presented the royal couple their traditional headwear and much to their joy William and Catherine immediately donned them.
The royal couple received such a vibrant and joyful welcome during their visit. ITV reporter Chris Ship described the community as, “The Kalash people are a non-Muslim minority population. In fact, their religion pre-dates Islam. They are culturally and ethnically distinct, descendants of Indo-Aryan tribes. This village was in Northern Pakistan in the Hindu Kush. Such a fascinating place the Kalash village in the Hindu Kush we went to today. Like a place you’ve never seen before – apart from a film set (or @GameOfThrones ) and the most welcoming people…“
The colourful and vibrant visit gave the Duchess an opportunity to enjoy her one hobby that she really loves – photography. Catherine was seen carrying her camera in the area.
People reported, “The couple visited a village in the Chitral district on Wednesday, where Kate was spotted carrying her own camera. Kate has previously dubbed herself an “enthusiastic amateur photographer,” with her favourite subjects being her three children: Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 4, and Prince Louis, 1. From birthday portraits to the first day of school photos, Kate has been documenting all of her family’s big moments for years.”
William and Catherine learned a few words of local language like hello that is “ishpata”. Duchess also learned how to say thank you in Kalash language as she thanked the locals for all the colourful gifts. Another video from the Royal Family Channel.
Coming to What Duchess wore- After 4 stunning appearances, today Catherine chose a casual look. She was wearing a combination of brown to visit the northwestern region. The look made the whole twitter community work really hard today.
Catherine wore her Really Wild Clothing Shoot Nubuck Waistcoat that she debuted during an ‘Expanding Horizons’ camp in June 2012.
Duchess paired the waistcoat with a brown full-sleeved shirt and taupe skirt paired with a new beige scarf and belt. The scarf was presented to her by the Hindu-kush region’s community early in the day.
After great research work, Bojana finally cracked Duchess’ shirt. It is actually Mint Velvet Chocolate Utility Shirt Dress.
Woven with silk-like cupro for added drape, this chocolate-brown dress cut in a relaxed shirt silhouette that buttons down the front and has all the utilitarian details like buttoned epaulettes, cuff tabs and front flap pockets. I believe Duchess had the dress altered into a shirt.
Keeping the walking she will have to do today in mind, Duchess wore her Really Wild Spanish Boots in Chocolate Suede that is in her wardrobe since 2013.
Duchess debuted another pair of earrings today. She was wearing Missoma Gold Zenyu Chandelier Hoops. Thanks to @emgcollins for the quick id. The $149 18Ct Gold plated earrings were described as, “The Zenyu Chandelier Hoops echo Colombia’s rich artistry and heritage with a modern edge. Bobble-trimmed charms are suspended from dainty hoops in a brushed-gold finish”.
The beige scarf Duchess carried was presented to her by the local scouts reflecting her association with UK scouts.
Court Circular noted an unannounced engagement of the day,
Their Royal Highnesses this evening received the Chief of Army Staff (General Qamar Javed Bajwa) and Mrs Qamar Bajwa at the Residence of the British High Commissioner in Islamabad.
Tomorrow, the Royal couple will spend day 4 of the visit in the vibrant and colourful city Lahore.