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Prince William, Kate to visit Pakistan in autumn: Kensington Palace

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. File

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. File   | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II visited Pakistan twice in 1961 and 1997. Later, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall visited Pakistan in 2006

Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton will make the first visit to Pakistan in 13 years in the autumn at the request of Britain’s Foreign Office, according to the Kensington Palace.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, both 37, will visit the country, shrugging off security fears to follow in the footsteps of William’s grandparents, father and late mother, Princess Diana, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will undertake an official visit to Pakistan this autumn, at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office,” according to the tweet.

Further details will be provided in due course, the palace announced on the social media.

The trip will mark Kate and William’s first visit to Pakistan, which is a member of the Commonwealth, but not the first by the members of the royal family.

Queen Elizabeth II visited Pakistan twice in 1961 and 1997. Her first visit took place at the height of the Cold War when Pakistan was very close to the western world.

Later, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall visited Pakistan in 2006.

William and Kate, who have not been on tour together for 18 months as the Duchess looked after their third baby Prince Louis, will visit Pakistan as they take on a heavyweight role in Britain’s overseas diplomacy.

The tour, which the three Cambridge children - Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 4, and Prince Louis, 1 - will not be part of, will see them navigate significant security concerns to celebrate the country’s ties with the UK, the report said.

It will be the most logistically difficult tour the Duchess has undertaken during her time in the Royal family and follows the Duke’s diplomatically sensitive trip to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories last year, the report added.

Pakistan’s high commissioner in London, Nafees Zakaria, welcomed the announcement.

“The upcoming Royal Visit is a reflection of the importance the United Kingdom attaches to its relations with Pakistan. The two countries enjoy historical links which both sides wish to strengthen further.”

Pakistan has close political, economic and cultural ties with the UK and a strong more than 1 million British-Pakistanis community help to keep the two sides close to each other.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 6:00:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/prince-william-kate-to-visit-pakistan-in-autumn-kensington-palace/article28234234.ece

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