After a busy day in Islamabad on the Day 2 of their royal tour and meetings with President and Prime Minister of Pakistan, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a reception hosted by the British High Commissioner Thomas Drew at the National Monument.
— Christin Zi (@PackhamGown) October 15, 2019
William and Catherine arrived in a specially painted tuk-tuk (Rikshaw) that was featured in the video shared by British High Commissioner Thomas Drew earlier this week. The reception is hosted to celebrate the very best of Pakistani music and culture, as well as highlighting the prosperous UK-Pakistan relationship.
An interesting tidbit about the tuk-tuk.
Ahead of the reception, the royal couple toured the national Monument. The Pakistan Monument is a national monument and heritage museum located on the western Shakarparian Hills in Islamabad, Pakistan.
A popular tourist destination, the monument was constructed to symbolize the unity of the Pakistani people. It is dedicated to the people of Pakistan who sacrificed their “today” for a better “tomorrow”. Its elevation makes the monument visible from across the Islamabad-Rawalpindi metropolitan area.
Monument’s petal-shaped structure is derived from the traditional muqarnas of Mughal architecture. The four large petals represent each of the four cultures, the Punjabi, the Balochi, the Sindhi and the Pakhtun. The three smaller petals represent the minorities, Azad Kashmir and the tribal areas. All seven petals, though independent of each other, stand together in unison to form the nation of Pakistan. Standing together, they are protecting the star and the crescent of the flag of Pakistan. In 2005, the then-President Pervez Musharaf tasked Pakistan Council of Architects and Town Planners to organise a national monument design competition based around the theme of signifying strength, unity and dedication of the people of Pakistan into an icon representing an independent and free nation.
From a total of 21 submissions, 3 were short-listed. The final design proposed by Arif Masoud was selected with his theme “We should learn from history but not remain in it.” Joining the monument is the Pakistan Monument Museum, which includes a wax museum depicting important events leading to the Pakistan Movement. From the air the monument looks like a star (centre) and a crescent moon (formed by walls forming the petals), these represent the star and crescent on Pakistan’s flag. The foundation stone was laid on 25 May 2004, completed in 2006 and inaugurated on 23 March 2007 by President General Pervez Musharaf.
In a speech, William said: “I would like to begin by saying bahut shukria to you all for making us so welcome in your country… I am struck by the great strides Pakistan has made since its birth seventy-two years ago… pic.twitter.com/ExDksDsXSe
— Roya Nikkhah (@RoyaNikkhah) October 15, 2019
Full text of Prince William’s Speech
Assalam O Alaikum. Thank you Tom for that kind introduction. Ladies and gentlemen, it is our great pleasure to join you here this evening on our first official visit to Pakistan.
Already, Catherine and I have been honoured by the hospitality you have shown us, and we have certainly managed to make our way through a record breaking amount of food so generously offered by our hosts….
I would like to begin by saying bahut shukria to you all for making us so welcome in your country.
Stood here with this magnificent monument behind me, I am struck by the great strides Pakistan has made since its birth seventy-two years ago. The view from this hill would have been quite different when my grandmother, The Queen, first visited over half a century ago.
Looking out, one would have seen the beginnings of a city under construction, yet to become the great capital that it is today. And with successive visits by my mother and my father, this view has continued to change, with the city constantly growing and with it my family’s affection for Pakistan.
This is the world’s sixth largest country by population. 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. And I am told that it hosts not just the second highest mountain in the world, but also its highest cash machine!
It is also home to one of the youngest populations in the world, with an average age of just 24 – almost half that of the UK. In a public school not far from where we gather this evening, Catherine and I saw young children learning and playing, aided by an inspiring teacher, trained through the Teach for Pakistan programme.
We spoke with ambitious young women finishing their schooling and planning for university and work. As Muhammed Ali Jinnah said, “No struggle can ever succeed without women participating side by side with men”.
It was good to hear from President Alvi and Prime Minster Khan, earlier today that education will continue to be an important priority for Pakistan. We also saw the brilliant work taking place in the Margalla Hills, where young children were being taught the importance of protecting and caring for the world around them.
The education of Pakistan’s next generation will be the key that turns the country’s growing population into an engine of growth and helps unlock this country’s enormous potential. A rapidly growing population presents you with an enormous opportunity, but also significant challenge.
The UK and Pakistan share unique bonds and so it will always be in our best interests for you 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 your economy.
You can rely on us to keep playing an important role as a key partner and your friend. Delivering a future where Pakistan’s great potential can be realised will not be easy or without sacrifice.
For a country so young, Pakistan has endured many hardships, with countless lives lost to terror and hatred. Tonight I want to pay tribute to all those who have endured such sacrifice and helped to build the country that we see today.
Whether in Pakistan or the UK or elsewhere on our planet – we face shared global challenges. The effects of climate change threaten the present and the future – and therefore demand a concerted effort by everyone.
In Pakistan, your spectacular glaciers – and those of the wider Hindu Kush-Himalaya region – serve as a critical water store for a quarter of a billion people; and over 1.6 billion people rely on the great rivers that flow from the mountains in this part of the world.
Yet, because the effects of global warming at altitude, a one and a half degree Celsius temperature increase overall could mean warming of over two degrees Celsius for northern Pakistan’s highest mountains. This could lead to a loss of over a third of these vital glaciers in less than a century, with enormous impacts not only on the availability of water, but on agriculture and hydropower generation.
Tomorrow we will be seeing some of these impacts first hand and meeting some of the communities adjusting to the new realities and new challenges that climate change has brought to their towns and villages. I hope to learn what more we all can do to help prevent and mitigate this impending global catastrophe.
Ladies and gentlemen, given the scale and complexities of the challenges that future generations will face, it is clear that we all need to work together. And whether it’s this generation or the next, I know that the UK and Pakistan will continue to exemplify the very best in international cooperation.
Yes, the challenges ahead are great. But we cannot be daunted, nor distracted. Instead we should draw strength from our shared bonds and heed the words of Muhammed Ali Jinnah as we do so, “My message to you all” he said “is of hope, courage, and confidence”.
We usually talk about Catherine’s style and fashion choices, tonight it was Duke of Cambridge who gave a sartorial node to the hosts. Prince William looked dapper in a bespoke traditional attire ‘Sherwani’ designed by Naushemian.
For the colourful evening, Duchess of Cambridge stepped out in a stunning green evening gown and dupatta from British Designer Jenny Packham.
Katie on twitter suggested that Catherine might be wearing a bespoke gown based on this Jenny Packham Long-Sleeve Georgia Sequined Column Gown. The $3973 gown features round neckline, zip fastening, long sleeves and sequin embellishment.
The gown was described on Harrods as, “Seen on the Autumn/Winter 2019 runway, the Georgia gown from coveted British label Jenny Packham exudes the timeless elegance and enchanting romance for which the brand is renowned. Fitted with a tailored waistline which is further accentuated with a row of crystals, the utterly feminine design is dripping in head-to-toe sequins, delivering an audacious amount of unapologetic glamour.”
It looks like Catherine wore a new pair of sandals too. @dataduchess2 on Twitter suggested Catherine might be wearing Jimmy Choo Mimi 100 Platinum Metallic Nappa Leather Wrap Around Sandals.
Duchess paired her outfit with a pair of statement earrings from O’Nitta. UFONoMore found that £290 bespoke earrings are gold plated with uncut crystal stones exclusively made for Duchess of Cambridge. They also found out that the Pakistani designer Maheen Khan is actually working in collaboration with O’Nitta and it looks like Catherine’s outfits and accessories were sourced through O’Nitta.
Tomorrow, William and Catherine will head to Lahore for a day full of engagements. They will reportedly visit SOS Village, A National Cricket Academy, Aitchison College, Shaukat Khanam Hospital and possibly Badshahi Mosque. The exact itinerary will be released in the morning.