The Duke and Duchess continued their Royal Visit by visiting the Northern region of Pakistan to learn more about the communities that live there and how these communities are coping with the impacts of Climate Change.
The couple first visited a glacier in the Hindu Kush mountain range where they learned how climate change has impacted the glacial landscapes. Local isolated communities have suffered from flash flooding due to the melting glaciers which has had devastating impacts on infrastructure and farmlands that the communities rely on.
They then visited one of the communities in central Chitral that have been impacted by the changing landscapes. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge watched a demonstration by volunteers from local Emergency Response Teams which are now supported by UK aid are were vital to preventing loss of life in the 2015 flash floods.
Before departing for Lahore the Duke and Duchess visited a local settlement of Kalash people to learn more about their culture and traditions. The couple were given traditional Kalash headdresses, shawls and ribbons before learning from young people how the tribe coexists with others that live there. The visit from the Duke and Duchess will hopefully contribute to tourism that the region relies on.
The Duke and Duchess travelled onto Lahore where they undertook a busy day of engagements on the fourth day of the tour. They began with a visit to the SOS Children's Villages which provide a home and family to orphaned or abandoned children. The Duchess spoke at the event about the importance of children having support in order to become successful adults and how the children's villages achieved that.
They then travelled on to the National Cricket Academy in Lahore where both the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge showed off their athletic side with children who are participating in the British Councils DOTSI programme. The couple has not been shy about their friendly competitions in the past, most recently when they both skipped for the Kings Cup regatta.
Prince William and Catherine then visited the Badshahi Mosque where they took part in a discussion with faith leaders to learn how they are promoting interfaith harmony in the surrounding communities. The two of them heard a reading from the Quran and toured the Mosque and Courtyard before heading to their final public engagement of the day at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre.
The Duke and Duchess visited the children's ward where they met young patients and their families. This was probably my favorite visit of the entire tour as the Duke and Duchess played with tiaras and had tea-time with seven-year-old Wafia. It gave a small glimpse into what phenomenal parents the Duke and Duchess are and brought a big smile to Wafia's face.
After an electrical storm forced the Duke and Duchess to stay in Lahore for the night, the last day of the tour featured one private and one public engagement. Prince William and Catherine decided to return to SOS Children's Village the next day for a private visit since they were still in Lahore. They joined the kids for crafts and a game of cricket before talking to some of the adults about the work being done.
In the Instagram post that accompanied the photographs that Kensington Palace released, the Duchess of Cambridge wrote her first attributed comment saying,
"The community as the SOS village is built around family - and the best possible family you could imagine - where everyone comes together to nurture, love and protect the children in their care. These vulnerable children, many who have come through traumatic circumstances, are nurtured in this caring environment and are able to form these quality relationships that they so desperately need to survive"
The Final engagement of the five day tour saw William and Catherine visiting the Army Canine Centre in Islamabad. They joined the dog handlers as they trained dogs to scout out explosive materials and saw trainers take the dogs through several obstacles. The Centre is modeled on the UK defence Animal Training Center and we all were treated to beautiful photos of the Duke and Duchess playing with dogs.
They departed Islamabad on Friday to return to the U.K. and will be on holiday with their children since it is half-term at their school, Thomas Battersea. They will return for Remembrance Sunday on Nov. 10th but it is more than likely there will be more events scheduled before then. xx