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Prince William And Duchess Kate Arrive In Pakistan For Five-Day Visit

Britian's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, visit a school classroom during a trip to Islamabad Pakistan on October 15.
Britian's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, visit a school classroom during a trip to Islamabad Pakistan on October 15.

The United Kingdom's Prince William and his wife, Duchess Kate, arrived in Pakistan's capital on October 14 for a five-day visit that will focus on boosting ties and addressing challenges such as climate change.

The couple disembarked from a British Royal Air Force plane, after an eight-hour flight, at about 9:30 p.m. local time at Nur Khan Airforce base in Rawalpindi, near the capital, Islamabad.

They were greeted by Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Thomas Drew, the British high commissioner, as well as two children who gave them bouquets of flowers.

The duchess of Cambridge wore a long, pale blue variation of the shalwar kameez, a dress or tunic worn over trousers, Pakistan's traditional national outfit that many on social media and in the fashion industry had hoped she would don during her visit. Prince William wore a navy suit with a blue tie.

The trip has been described by Kensington Palace as the most complex the couple has undertaken due to security and logistical issues. It is the first by members of the British royal family in more than a decade.

The release of public details of the tour were limited due to tight security, but the visit was scheduled to take them around the north and west of the nation of 208 million people, with a focus on climate change, access to education, and security.

"The couple would like to see the breadth and depth of the country from the leafy capital here in Islamabad to the vibrant city of Lahore, the mountainous countryside of the north, and the rugged border regions of the west," the British high commissioner said in a video on his official Twitter account.

"They're looking forward to building a lasting friendship with the people of Pakistan. I know they will get a very warm welcome," he added.

Excitement built up on the day of their arrival, with the hashtag #RoyalVisitPakistan trending on Twitter and television stations airing footage from historic royal visits, including one by Prince William's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, in 1961.

Some rickshaw drivers in Lahore and Rawalpindi, a garrison city next to Islamabad, painted their vehicles with the Pakistani and British flags.

Foreign policy experts and officials have said the trip, made at the request of the British foreign office, represented a soft power push that could help both sides further their diplomatic aims.

It comes as Britain seeks to reinvigorate its foreign relationships ahead of the deadline for Britain's departure from the European Union and Pakistan works to repair its global image to boost tourism and investment.