MAGAZINE

British royal couple wraps up Pakistan visit

AFP Photo

Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate on Friday left for home after wrapping up a visit to Pakistan, the first by members of the British royal family in over a decade.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were seen off from a military airbase in the capital Islamabad by the British high commissioner to Pakistan, officials said.

The couple flew home hours after a delayed arrival from Lahore. Their plane had to return to Lahore overnight due to a storm.

Pakistan's aviation authorities advised the pilot to return to Lahore after two failed landing attempts at an airport and the military airbase, officials said.

The couple spent the night at a luxury hotel in Lahore along with journalists covering their trip and staff of the British high commission.

The incident forced changes in the tightly scheduled itinerary of the royal couple, said an official at the high commission, which is in charge of Britain's diplomatic relations in countries that are members of the Commonwealth.

Kate and William had to skip a cannon display of the Pakistani military due to time constraints.

During their visit, William and Kate had lunch with the Pakistani prime minister and met the president.

In Lahore they saw a 17th-century mosque, participated in birthday celebrations of children at an orphanage and spent time with cancer patients at a hospital.

They visited the country's northern mountains to see glaciers melting due to climate change and meet communities affected by impact.

William and Kate also travelled to meet an ancient community thought to be the descendants of soldiers who came to the region with Greek king Alexander the Great.

The Kelasha people have lived in a valley near the Afghan border for more than two thousand years, keeping their unique culture and heritage alive.

One of the highlights of the visit was their arrival at a cultural evening event in Islamabad in a three-wheeler rickshaw dressed in traditional Pakistani clothing.

Among the most memorable visits of members of Britain's royals to Pakistan were three trips by William's late mother Lady Diana, who is still admired in Pakistan for her beauty and elegance.

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