LONDON: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, returned to Britain on Friday after a five-day visit to Pakistan, following which their interview to international publication, CNN, surfaced.
When asked to reflect on the eventful tour to Pakistan, the Duchess of Cambridge summarised the maiden tour to the country.
“It has been fantastic, We have seen a lot of Pakistan… It was amazing seeing some of the geography yesterday, but then to see some of the community activities today has been really special,” she told the interviewer standing beside Prince William, her husband.
The royal couple spent a busy Thursday in Lahore, during which they played cricket, visited SOS Village, a children’s orphanage, visited Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and toured the iconic Badshahi Mosque, one of the world’s largest mosques.
Particularly, the duchess said that the couple really wanted to see an SOS village.
“There’s so many vulnerable women here but they’ve really used their positivity and the support that the Village here provides them … to support and protect the next generation of children in their care and give them the best possible start to their future lives,” said the Duchess about her visit to the SOS village.
Before their return to the UK, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their way to Islamabad from Lahore met with some unexpected turbulence, as a severe thunderstorm descended on Pakistan’s capital city. The strong winds forced the RAF Voyager to attempt a landing in Islamabad twice, before returning back to Lahore.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were given friendship bracelets on an unexpected second visit to an orphanage in Pakistan.
William and Kate returned to the SOS Children’s Village in Lahore on the last day of their tour, having already made the trip the day before, after they were forced to stay overnight in the Punjab capital.
The RAF Voyager plane carrying the couple had to abort two landings in the Pakistani capital Islamabad on Thursday and turn back to Lahore following a thunderstorm.
According to royal sources, the duchess was particularly keen to return to the organisation, which provides support to more than 150 orphans in boarding houses.
They met some young Pakistanis during the visit on Friday morning who have been supported by the village and now mentor some of its younger residents.
Among them was Saba Shahzadi, 28, who first came when she was eight following the death of her grandmother.
Ms Shahzadi, now a manager for Nestle in Pakistan, who still acts as a mentor to the children, told the couple she couldn’t “imagine what would happened if I hadn’t found SOS”. “That nurturing of this place really comes through. It’s like an arm wrapped around you,” the duke said.