The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Pakistan for the first time, from Monday 14th to Friday 18th October, at the request of the The Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Whilst The Duke and Duchess’s programme celebrated the historical relationship between Britain and Pakistan, it also focussed on showcasing Pakistan as it is today – a dynamic, aspirational and forward-looking nation.
Monday - Arrival
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge touched down in Pakistan.
Their Royal Highnesses were officially welcomed to the country by government representatives.
Her Majesty, Head of the Commonwealth, visited Pakistan 1961 and again in 1997.
Tuesday - Islamabad
At a public school in central Islamabad, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met young children learning and playing, aided by an inspiring teacher, trained through the Teach for Pakistan programme.
Teach for Pakistan is a fast-track teacher training programme modelled on the successful Teach First scheme in the UK, which is focused on improving the quality of teaching in schools which serve families from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The engagement in Islamabad championed the importance of quality education, and highlighted how girls benefit from pursuing higher education and professional careers.
Later, at The Margalla Hills, which sit in the foothills of the Himalayas, The Duke and Duchess met young children being taught the importance of protecting and caring for the world around them.
They joined children as they set up a leopard camera trap, and helped them identify and remove species of plants that are threatening the natural environment.
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 Duke of Cambridge
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan, where they offered their thanks for the incredibly warm welcome they have received in Pakistan.
At the iconic Pakistan National Monument The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a reception celebrating the very best of Pakistani music and culture, as well as highlighting the prosperous UK-Pakistan relationship.
Read The Duke of Cambridge's full speech from the reception here.
Wednesday - North
On the second full day of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to Pakistan, Their Royal Highness’s travelled to the mountains of Northern Pakistan, where 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.
The Duke and Duchess first visited a glacier in the Hindu Kush mountain range, situated in the Chitral District of Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, where they learned more from an expert about how climate change is impacting the glacial landscapes.
From the glacier, The Duke and Duchess travelled to a nearby valley in the centre of Chitral, where isolated communities have suffered from severe flash flooding in recent years as a result of nearby glaciers melting. The Duke and Duchess saw buildings and farmland destroyed in the severe floods of 2015.
Their Royal Highnesses 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 Duke and Duchess watched a drill conducted by volunteers from the local Emergency Response Team – now supported by UK aid – which, through community education and early warning work, 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.
Prior to departure, Their Royal Highnesses visited a settlement of the Kalash people, to learn more about the Kalash community and their unique heritage and traditions.
The Duke and Duchess 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.
Thursday - Lahore
The Duke and Duchess visited the bustling city of Lahore, known widely across Pakistan as the country’s city of culture.
The day of engagements showcased Pakistani culture, from its unique architecture, its commitment to charity and its love of cricket.
The day began at SOS Children’s Village, a charitable organisation in the heart of the city established in 1977.
The Village, which is attached to a school, provides a home and family structure to over 150 young girls and boys, and promotes the development of children into happy, confident and resilient adults.
The next engagement shone a light on Pakistan’s national game – cricket – as Their Royal Highnesses visit the National Cricket Academy in Lahore.
Here, The Duke and Duchess joined a match with children who are participating in the British Council’s DOSTI programme (Dosti means friendship in Urdu).
That afternoon, The Duke and Duchess visited the Badshahi Mosque, the most iconic Islamic site in Lahore, set in the heart of the Walled City – which was previously visited by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.
Their Royal Highnesses toured the mosque and courtyard, before joining a discussion with faith leaders to understand how they are promoting interfaith harmony within their communities.
Finally that day, The Duke and Duchess travelled to the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, a state-of-the-art cancer facility located in the centre of Lahore, which was previously visited by the late Princess of Wales.
The Duke and Duchess visited the children’s ward to spend time with patients undergoing treatment at the hospital, and will spoke to a number of their families.
Friday - Lahore and Islamabad
On the final day of their visit, The Duke and Duchess returned to SOS Children's Villages in Lahore.
The Duke and Duchess then visited the Army Canine Centre in Islamabad.
The centre at Islamabad is modelled on the UK Defence Animal Training Centre at Melton Mowbray — the UK has provided training and advice to the Pakistan Armed Forces for over 10 years, and is currently supporting the Pakistan Counter Improvised Explosive Device (CIED) programme, which in part breeds and trains dogs to identify explosive devices.