Prince William & Kate Middleton Travel To Pakistan In The Fall For The First Time

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge on day one of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse
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Kensington Palace has announced that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will travel to Pakistan in the fall at the request of the Commonwealth Office on an official visit.

Town & Country says that this will be the first time since 2006 that British royals have set foot on Pakistani soil when Prince Charles visited with Camilla Parker-Bowles, and before that, Queen Elizabeth visited in 1961 and 1997. Prince William’s mother, Princess Diana, traveled to Pakistan on a solo trip in 1991.

The High Commissioner for Pakistan to the United Kingdom, Mohammad Nafees Zakaria, announced that the royal couple will be welcomed in the country this autumn.

“The Government and the people of Pakistan warmly welcome the announcement of the Royal Visit by Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Pakistan this year.”

Zakaria says that the people of Pakistan still remember past royal visits and cherish the relationship that the country has with the United Kingdom.

“The two countries enjoy historical links which both sides wish to strengthen further.”

The itinerary has not yet been set as the British Foreign and Commonwealth Offices still advise against traveling to certain parts of the country. Over 1.5 million people in the U.K. are of Pakistani heritage, and over 100,00 British people are in Pakistan at any given time.

The two countries have strong trade links, and with a potential Brexit approaching, it’s logical that both countries would want to cement those agreements.

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But The Telegraph says that it is the intention of Prince William and Kate Middleton to trace the steps of Princess Diana is Pakistan the way they did in India, despite the security concerns. They also want to visit the places the prince’s grandparents went on their visits.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have not been on tour together in nearly two years, but in October, Prince Louis will be 18-months-old, and Kate Middleton will be free to step up in her role as a representative for British overseas diplomacy.

But the trip has logistical difficulties said to be similar to the duke’s solo trip last year to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. When Princess Diana visited Pakistan, she visited with Imran and Jemima Khan, who are now divorced. Mr. Khan is now Pakistan’s Prime Minister, and it’s likely that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will meet with him in some official capacity while they are in the country.