The royal couple along with around 100 travellers of the voyager were forced to spend an unplanned night in Lahore causing a huge delay in the itinerary of Day 5. Finally, around 12:30 PM today Duke and Duchess of Cambridge landed in Islamabad back. From Richard Palmer’s report,
William and Kate checked into the four-star Pearl Continental Hotel last night in the bustling Punjabi city along with a 15-strong entourage, a large team of Scotland Yard detectives, the crew of their RAF Voyager plane, and around 50 journalists covering their tour of Pakistan. Pakistani security forces provided a cordon around the hotel but royal aides asked the media to impose a blackout on their stay in the city because of safety concerns until the couple returned to Islamabad today.
Rebecca English reported that William and Catherine spend a night at the Pearl Continental hotel in Lahore. British High Commissioner’s staff jumped to do some last minutes arrangement as the couple was not able to land in Islamabad. From her Daily Mail’s report,
William and Kate had to overnight in Lahore after a terrifying electrical storm forced their plane to abandon its landing in the Pakistani capital, it can be revealed today. With no sign of the weather improving, their pilot had to return to the city where they had spent the day on official engagements, and ground the plane for the night.
They landed in Islamabad just after midday, where they will stay for several hours before flying back home to join Prince George, six, Princess Charlotte, four, and one-year-old Prince Louis.
British High Commission officials sprung into action last night to find the couple a hotel room, along with their entourage, security team and around fifty journalists – almost 100 rooms in all.
William and Kate waited for an hour at the airport before being whisked away in a convoy to stay at the nearby Pearl Continental Hotel, where they were taken in a private entrance straight to their rooms.
Meanwhile royal aides and diplomats hurriedly re-arranged the couple’s schedule, reluctantly cancelling an important visit to a Pakistani military post on the Afghan border and a helicopter flight over the famous Khyber pass, which hadn’t been been revealed in advance for security reasons.
Instead William and Kate undertook a private engagement in Lahore the following morning, surprising fellow hotel guests as they walked through the lobby to their waiting car.
The media have only been now been able to report the fact they they had stayed in Lahore overnight for security reasons. Royal officials wanted to ensure the couple safely made their way back to Islamabad first. They finally boarded their plane again just before noon and made the half hour journey back to the Pakistani capital.
The couple privately thanked their RAF pilots and praised royal aides and British High Commission officials for coming up with an emergency backup plan so quickly and with minimal fuss.
William, 37, also personally insisted that journalists travelling with himself and Kate, who were also on the flight, came with them to the hotel and were found a bed for the night. He even came down the plane to check that everyone was fine following the hair-raising flight.
Today there were two engagements scheduled for the couple – a visit to Islamabad’s Army Canine Centre and a trip to the Khyber Pass on the border with Afghanistan. But due to the logistical problems caused by the delay the trip to Kyber Pass was cancelled. Another visit to Landi Kotl was also cancelled today. Continuing from Richard’s report,
The change in plans means that the royal couple have had to cancel plans to fly by helicopter to the Khyber Pass today where they were due to meet soldiers from the Khyber Rifles guarding the border with Afghanistan.
William and Kate wanted to show British support for Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts in tightening security around the once-porous border over which Osama bin Laden and many of his Al Qaeda fighters fled after US forced targeted them in late 2001 following the September 11 attacks in the United States.
The future King and Queen would have been taken to a point on the border overlooking Afghanistan’s Tora Bora mountains and caves in the White Mountains. Improved security has led to the round-the-clock opening of the Torkham border crossing and an easing of trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Islamabad’s Army Canine Centre is modelled on the UK’s Defence Animal Training Centre at Melton Mowbray.
The UK has provided training and advice to the Pakistan Armed Forces for more than a decade and currently helps to breed and train dogs to identify explosives, by supporting the Pakistan Counter Improvised Explosive Device programme.
Pakistan has faced waves of suicide bombings in the past 15 years as the country has battled militancy and extremism. Homemade bombs and suicide attacks have killed thousands. British troops are currently giving training and advice to Pakistan’s Counter Improvised Explosive Device (CIED) programme, which in part breeds and trains bomb sniffer dogs.
Duke and Duchess joined dog handlers for a training session before taking some of the puppies through an agility training activity. They fed and petted trainee bomb sniffer dogs.
From Daily Mail,
William and Kate were accompanied by Golden Labrador puppies Sky and Salto as they walked around the facility, where British servicemen help their Pakistani counterparts train the animals to fight terrorism.
William also spoke of how important security ties with Pakistan were for the UK and said events in Pakistan had a direct effect on security on the streets of Britain.
‘The whole week we have been hearing about security in Pakistan and it’s really brought home to Catherine and I the importance of the relationship between the UK and Pakistan,’ he said. ‘We are involved with the Pakistanis for a very good reason, it will actually keep people safe back in the UK.’
William and Catherine took golden Labrador puppies Sky and Salto for a walk.
We all know how much Catherine loves dogs. Lupo their English Cocker Spaniel is always counted as the family member of Cambridge household. For a long time, Lupo was the baby of the Cambridge couple.
During the engagement, Catherine spoke about the last night’s aircraft trouble.
Khyber Pass is a key strategic route between Pakistan and Afghanistan with a rich history. The royal couple was supposed to visit military post with dramatic views over the Hindu Kush and Tora Bora Mountains where they would have received a briefing by the Khyber Rifles on the region’s current security situation, highlighting improved relations with neighbouring Afghanistan which have resulted in the recent 24-hour opening of the Torkham border crossing to improve trade. The region once had been the hideout for Al Qaeda figurehead Osama Bin Laden.
— Christin Zi (@PackhamGown) October 18, 2019
After attending their only engagement of the day, William and Catherine headed to Pakistani Air Force Base Nur Khan, in Rawalpindi for a flight back to home.
— CNN International (@cnni) October 18, 2019
During yesterday’s SOS Village visit, Duchess of Cambridge gave a special interview to Max Foster that will on-air soon.
Even after a night full of uncertainty, when Duchess of Cambridge stepped out today she was looking gorgeous in white Elan tunic. I believe the tunic was a spare piece that Duchess had brought with her to Lahore yesterday. Thanks to @Emma4AboutRoyal and @thisandthatpk.
Elan is one of Pakistan’s leading designing house. @thisandthatpk confirmed that the piece is a bespoke creation of the label but will be available for purchase later in the year. The £70 tunic feature contrasting black embroidery on the bodice, sleeves and hemline.
Catherine paired the tunic with a white straight trouser. The combination turned out to be a stunning one with a mix of traditional and modern style. I believe she was also carrying the same white scarf by Maheen Khan she carried yesterday.
Catherine was carrying her Smythson Black Panama East-West Zip Tote.
Duchess paired her look with still UFO Gold Filigree Earrings she debuted last month when she opened her Back to Nature Garden at RHS Wisley.
For Army Canine Centre visit Catherine changed into another look. She wore a black Beulah London Papilio Jacket. Thanks to Monique Jessen for the id.
The jacket is from the label’s Autumn Winter 2014 collection. so I believe it’s either a remake or Catherine had it in her wardrobe since 2014 and we saw it for the first time today.
Catherine paired the jacket with a white tunic and white trouser she wore earlier that I believe is from Maheen Khan. She was also carrying a white scarf.
This time she paired the outfit with a new pair of Russell & Bromley Xpresso Crossover Flat. Thanks to Emma4AboutRoyal on Twitter for quick id. The £195 pair is described as”Bring a touch of royalty to your wardrobe this season with Xpresso, as worn by the Duchess of Cambridge. Designed in the softest black suede, these feature a delicately pointed toe and are finished with a chic crossover strap. Brighten up the boardroom and wear to work or pair with silk fabrics for a grown-up take on off-duty dressing.” Catherine also owns Russell & Bromley Xpresso Blush Suede Crossover Flat that she wore to visit Margalla Hills earlier this week.
With this, the royal visit to Pakistan ends. Thank you very much for bearing with me and the late updates on the blog. I don’t expect Catherine to have any engagement next week. I am going to share my thoughts on the logistics of the tour this weekend. Stay tuned.