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Dubai: The Duchess of Cambridge turned heads after wearing a full-length green dress to a meeting with the Aga Khan in London on Wednesday, ahead her first official visit to Pakistan next week from October 14-18.
Will and Kate will embark on the first visit by a British royal to the country in over a decade since the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall last visited in 2006. Before that Queen Elizabeth also visited in 1961 and 1997.
At the time the trip was announced in June, the High Commissioner for Pakistan to the United Kingdom, Mohammad Nafees Zakaria said,
“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.
“The people of Pakistan still cherish and fondly recall the visits of Her Majesty The Queen to Pakistan during 1961 and 1997.
“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,” he added.
The couple were hosted in London at the Aga Khan Centre on Wednesday by the Aga Khan himself, the spiritual head of Shia Ismaili Muslims, at an event that showcased modern Pakistani culture.
Organised in co-operation with the High Commission of Pakistan, the event saw Will and Kate meet several high profile figures from the UK’s Pakistani community.
The late Princess Diana also visited Pakistan in 1996 and during this trip she visited her friend, the former cricketer and current Prime Minister Imran Khan, to attend a fundraising event of his at a cancer hospital.
Will and Kate will no doubt be reunited with Imran Khan to reminisce about Diana, much like Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, did on his tour of Africa with wife Megan the Duchess of Sussex, this week, while talking to landmine victims who had previously been helped by Diana’s charity work.
More than a million people of Pakistani descent live in Britain making it home to the largest Pakistani community in Europe. Bilateral trade was worth almost US$4 billion in 2017, and the UK is currently Pakistan’s third largest source of foreign investment after China and Holland.
British Airways also resumed service to Pakistan earlier this year after suspending operations due to safety fears over a decade ago. This return was seen as a major vote of confidence for the country.