Prince William and Kate mingle with Kalasha community, experience local culture

Updated October 16, 2019

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Britain's Prince William (centre R), Duke of Cambridge and his wife Catherine (centre L), Duchess of Cambridge, watch a traditional Kalashi dance during their visit to the Bombaret Valley in Chitral on Wednesday. — AFP
Britain's Prince William (centre R), Duke of Cambridge and his wife Catherine (centre L), Duchess of Cambridge, watch a traditional Kalashi dance during their visit to the Bombaret Valley in Chitral on Wednesday. — AFP
Britain's Prince William (R), Duke of Cambridge and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, watch a traditional Kalashi dance during their visit to the Bombaret Valley in Chitral on Wednesday. — AFP
Britain's Prince William (R), Duke of Cambridge and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, watch a traditional Kalashi dance during their visit to the Bombaret Valley in Chitral on Wednesday. — AFP
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Prince William and Kate Middleton on Wednesday visited the foothills of the Hindu Kush mountain range. — Photo courtesy PTI
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Prince William and Kate Middleton on Wednesday visited the foothills of the Hindu Kush mountain range. — Photo courtesy PTI
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Prince William and Kate Middleton look at a book of pictures commemorating Princess Diana's visit to Chitral in 1991. — Screengrab
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Prince William and Kate Middleton look at a book of pictures commemorating Princess Diana's visit to Chitral in 1991. — Screengrab

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Prince William and Kate Middleton, on the third day of their five-day trip to Pakistan, visited the foothills of the Hindu Kush mountain range to witness the effects of climate change — one of the key areas of focus of their visit.

Prince William and Kate visit a settlement of the Kalash people in Chitral. — Reuters
Prince William and Kate visit a settlement of the Kalash people in Chitral. — Reuters

After visiting Broghil, they travelled to Bombaret village in Kalash valley.

In Kalash valley, the royal couple met locals and spent time with children. They also enjoyed performances of traditional dances and music by the local people.

A cap traditionally worn by Kalasha women was gifted to the duchess.

A large number of locals including women had welcomed the royal couple upon reaching the valley. Elaborate security arrangements were made for the visit.

After visiting Broghil, the couple travelled to Bombaret village in Kalash valley. — Photo courtesy PTI Twitter
After visiting Broghil, the couple travelled to Bombaret village in Kalash valley. — Photo courtesy PTI Twitter

"They were very happy, meeting and shaking hands with everyone," a district administration official said of William and Kate, adding that the couple also took keen interest in the Kalash culture.

Earlier on Wednesday, the royals had flown from Islamabad in a Pakistan Army chopper to Chitral, where they were gifted traditional hats and a book of photos commemorating the trip of William's mother, Diana, who visited the valley in 1991.

"Fantastic," the prince remarked as he sifted through the pages of the book. The residents also gifted an embroidered coat to Prince William and a shawl to Kate.

The British royals travelled by helicopter to the Chiatibo Glacier in Broghil Valley National Park to see the effects of climate change in one of the most glaciated areas of the world.

Residents of the region have been sounding the alarm over its melting glaciers, which caused devastating floods in 2015 that left thousands of families camping in the open just as another cold winter approached.

The Duke of Cambridge called the glacial melt an “impending catastrophe” in a speech delivered at a glittering reception in Islamabad late Tuesday.

William and Kate flew back to Islamabad after completing their visit to the region.

The duke and duchess arrived in Pakistan on Monday night on their maiden visit. Their second day was a busy one, which started with a visit to a girl's college in the capital and then Margalla Hills, where they attended an event regarding environmental protection. The couple was hosted by President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Aiwan-i-Sadr and Prime Minister House, respectively.

In the evening, they attended a star-studded reception, hosted by British High Commissioner to Pakistan Thomas Drew, at the National Monument where William, in his first official address, paid tribute to all the people who "endured sacrifice and helped build Pakistan to the country it is today".