LAHORE: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, are set to visit Lahore on Thursday (today) as part of their five-day trip to Pakistan.

Chief Minister Usman Buzdar in a statement welcomed the royal couple to Lahore, saying Pakistanis had great respect for the British royal family and memories of Princess Diana’s visits to Pakistan were still fresh in the hearts of the people here. He hoped the couple’s visit would prove fruitful for further promoting bilateral relations.

“Pakistan and the UK have friendly relations and the UK’s role in social sector development of Pakistan, especially the education sector, is praiseworthy,” he added.

The chief minister said in the statement that the royal couple would be accorded a warm welcome in Lahore.

Prince William’s mother, Princess Diana, had visited Pakistan thrice -- 1991, 1996 and 1997. On her first visit in 1991, her trip to Lahore lasted only six hours during which she visited the Kinnaird College straight from the airport, followed by King Edward Medical College, the Millat Tractor Factory, Allama Iqbal mausoleum, Badshahi Mosque and Lahore Fort.

She visited Lahore for the second time in 1996 on the invitation of Imran Khan to help raise funds for Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital where she also attended an Eid Milan party. Since this was a personal visit, she did not attend any official events. Diana arrived in Lahore on her third and last visit to Pakistan in May 1997 for the launch of an endowment fund appeal for Khan’s cancer hospital.

Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2019