Duke and Duchess of Cambridge land in Pakistan for five-day Royal tour

14 October 2019, 18:22

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge arrive in Islamabad
The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge arrive in Islamabad. Picture: Getty

By Megan White

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have landed in Pakistan for their first official visit to the country.

William and Kate were met by Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his wife at the Pakistani Air Force base in Rawalpindi, near Islamabad.

It will be their "most complex" tour to date, Kensington Palace said, due to political tensions and security concerns in the region.

Prince William will be following in the footsteps of both his parents, as Diana, Princess of Wales, made the journey several times through her charity work.

The Duchess of Cambridge was handed flowers by a young girl
The Duchess of Cambridge was handed flowers by a young girl. Picture: Getty

Kate - wearing a blue ombre Catherine Walker gown - was given a bouquet of flowers by a young girl as the couple left the RAF Voyager.

More than 1,000 Pakistani police officers will be deployed to secure the royal couple's safety while they travel across the country.

The tour, which wraps up on Friday, seeks to strengthen ties between the UK and Pakistan.

It will span more than 1,000km of the country, including capital Islamabad, the city of Lahore, the mountainous countryside in the north and border regions to the west.

The Royals are expected to meet leaders from government and well-known cultural figures and sporting stars, as well as visiting programmes which empower young people.

The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall in Pakistan in 2006
The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall in Pakistan in 2006. Picture: PA

They will also cover how communities in Pakistan are responding and adapting to climate change, and are due to spend time understanding the "complex security picture" of the region.

It comes during heightened tensions between Pakistan and India over the disputed region of Kashmir.

Skirmishes between the two sides at the de-facto border have increased this year, causing troop and civilian casualties.

Their tour of Pakistan comes more than 13 years since the last royal visit, seen as one of the most perilous royal foreign tours for some time, when the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall travelled to the country in 2006.

The couple will leave their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, at home for the visit.

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