Prince William and Kate Middleton spend a busy day in Lahore
LAHORE (92 News/Reuters) – Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate on Thursday joined locals in a cricket match in the Pakistani city of Lahore before a trip to a cancer hospital that his mother, Princess Diana, visited a year before her death.
Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar and Governor Ch Sarwar welcomed the royal couple at Lahore airport. Bouquets and gifts were presented to the royal couple. Prince William was given a gift of olive cane and painting, while Princes Kate was given a shawl and other gifts.
The couple visited SOS Village and cut a cake with the orphan.
Kate and William then took part in a cricket match including former captains of the Pakistan men and women’s teams, Azhar Ali and Sana Mir. Pakistan’s bowling coach Waqar Younis, also a former men’s captain, umpired the match.
They also visited Badshahi Mosque where they were accorded a red-carpet welcome by Khateeb Maulana Abdul Khabeer Azad. The guests took a round of the mosque. They were given a copy of the Holy Quran translated in English.
Later, they visited Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, founded by Prime Minister Imran Khan, a family friend of the Prince. They interacted with the children being treated at hospital. Diana made a high-profile visit to the hospital, a year before her death in a car crash in 1997.
The Pakistani government hopes the couple’s four-day official visit will boost the country’s image as a tourist and business destination, after decades of sectarian violence and political unrest.
William and Kate, who have frequently donned traditional Pakistani dress by local designers during their trip, have highlighted education and the impact of climate change in the country.
At a meeting earlier in Lahore, one of Pakistan’s largest cities and its cultural capital, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Bazdar told the couple their visit “will further strengthen relations between the two countries”.