The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge today arrived in Pakistan for their first visit to the commonwealth Country. William and Catherine will be staying in Pakistan until October 18. The Palace described the tour as “The most complex tour undertaken by The Duke and Duchess to date, given the logistical and security considerations“.
The couple landed at the Pakistani Air Force Base Nur Khan, in Rawalpindi this evening, after an almost 8 hours long flight, where they were received by Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, his wife Mehriene Quershi and Britain’s High Commissioner to Pakistan, Thomas Drew. Mr Quershi did his Master’s Degree at St. Mary’s College at the University of Cambridge.
The Duke and Duchess were welcomed by the Presidential Guard of Honours and received a beautiful bouquet upon arrival from two adorable kids dressed up in traditional attires. From Daily Mail, “William was expected to spend the evening working on a major speech to be delivered tomorrow in which he is set to highlight the ‘unique bonds’ between the two countries, particularly the 1.5 million people of Pakistani origin living in the UK.”
— Thomas Drew (@TomDrewUK) October 13, 2019
British High Commissioner yesterday took to Twitter and posted a short video about what to expect on this tour and talked about the buzz and excitement of the tour.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have arrived in Islamabad for their official #RoyalVisitPakistan welcome at the start of their five-day visit, the first royal tour here in 13 yrs. The Duchess is a wearing Catherine Walker designed outfit with a nod to Pakistan’s national dress pic.twitter.com/RdkKi2SmzD
— Roya Nikkhah (@RoyaNikkhah) October 14, 2019
The royal couple travelled in the Royal Air Force’s Voyager aircraft A330 with an entourage of 14, which includes their private secretaries Simon Case and Catherine Quinn and communications secretary Christian Jones. Another four members of the communications team, two assistant private secretaries, two programme coordinators, and a PA are with them. An orderly and a hairdresser are also part of the team.
Richard Palmer reported, “William and Kate still ensured that their departure from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire for an air force base in Rawalpindi was timed to allow them to drop their two older children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, off at their private school in Battersea, south London, yesterday morning. Aides confirmed that the departure time had been set with the school run in mind before their RAF A330 Voyager plane set off for Nur Khan Pakistani Air Force Base, close to the capital, Islamabad.”
The Palace said, “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will see the modern, leafy capital Islamabad, the vibrant city of Lahore, the mountainous countryside in the North, and the rugged border regions to the West during the tour“. ITV gave a background of the tour in its report,
” why Pakistan? Its name might mean ‘Land of the Pure’ but there is no doubt this is a country facing some challenges. Situated with India to its west and Afghanistan and Iran to its East, security and stability are among the main problems facing Pakistan. William and Kate will be shown Pakistan’s border region with Afghanistan which is home to a number of fighters loyal to al-Qa’ida. And there will be some tricky diplomatic moments for the couple to navigate.
As ever, Royal Tours are conducted ‘at the request of the Foreign Office’ – and given Pakistanis are the single largest minority ethnic group in the UK, the government is hoping the visit will strengthen what diplomats call the ‘people to people’ ties between countries.”
Even though the security concerns are high (some 1000 security officials will be working round the clock during the couple’s 5-days long visit), there is no doubt about the buzz and excitement in Pakistan. The government, social and local authorities and the public have been preparing for the most anticipated visit. Twitter showed some great moments and artistic preparations.
Colored portraits ready for Duke & Duchess of cambridge💟 @TomDrewUK @ukinpakistan @KensingtonRoyal @loveforcambridg @RoyalFamily
Long Live Uk-pak friendship🇬🇧🇵🇰#ArtistWaqasAhmedShaiq pic.twitter.com/c2rIQLH4Yo
— Waqas Ahmed Shaiq (@shaiq_waqas) October 13, 2019
Due to security reasons, the Palace will be announcing the visit itinerary on a day-to-day basis. So far, we know that tomorrow William and Catherine will be meeting with Pakistan’s President Mr Arif Alvi. Later on, the royal couple will be officially welcomed by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. Imran Khan was a good friend of William’s mother Diana, Princess of Wales. William and Catherine will visit the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital that Diana inaugurated in 1996. Then the couple will be undertaking a few engagements in Islamabad before heading to Lahore for a day full of engagements on Wednesday.
A video of the arrival.
For the arrival, as expected, the Duchess of Cambridge wore a really elegant and traditional bespoke outfit. She was wearing a turquoise ombre print long flared full sleeve Kurti(Tunic) and a pant style Shalwar(Trouser). The ensemble is designed by one of her go-to British labels Catherine Walker. It looks like the designer, The Duchess and her stylist have done a great deal of research as the design of her outfit is a trendy style very popular among Indian and Pakistani ladies. The colour of the dress was standing out in the night.
The shirt has a cowl neckline and the bottom of the shirt has pleat detailing and is fully lined in white. The sleeves of the shirt have long strings of a button with a small diamond-shaped cut at the end of the button strings. The cowl neckline is a subtle substitute for the traditional Dupatta. The outfit was stunning and suitable for the visit. As always Duchess nailed her style choice by giving detailed attention to the small element.
The dress is not just a sartorial node to Pakistan’s Air Force (the colour matches with PAF’s flag as noted by KateMiddStyle on Twitter), it also brings back the memories of a visit to William’s mother Diana made in 1996).
Catherine paired her stunning outfit with Zeen Beaded Chandelier earrings. Thanks to UFONoMore for the quick id. The $10 earrings feature white and sea green beads embellished on golden material. The earrings are the second piece from the Pakistani Designer. Recently, Duchess wore their other design Zeen Dazzling Ceramic Drops during last week’s Aga Khan Center visit in London.
Duchess also debuted a clutch from the same Pakistani label. She was carrying Zeen Cream Gleam Clutch. (ID by Innominate on Twitter). The $29 box clutch is made of faux ivory leather and has a satin finish. It comes with a detachable chain and gold-tone top clasp.
Catherine was wearing her Rupert Sanderson Malory Nude Pumps.
Tomorrow will be a very busy day for the couple. I look forward to the itinerary for the day which is expected to be released in the early morning. I will leave you with this stunning shot captured by KP photographer Adam Vallance.