On Day Four of the Royal Tour, the Duke and Duchess traveled to Lahore, Pakistan’s second-largest city. It is also considered the country’s cultural capital.
Lahore is about an hour south of Islamabad by plane.
The couple was welcomed by Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, and their families at Lahore Airport.
The day’s first engagement was at SOS Children’s Villages.
The organization is “the largest child welfare organisation in the world. It focuses on providing community projects including schools, medical centres, agricultural projects, vocational training, and production centres” per the SOS site, and there are currently ten SOS villages in Pakistan.
SOS Villages provide a family structure lifestyle for over 150 boys and girls. Each home “….serves as a home for orphan and underprivileged children. This is where they make new friends, develop family bonds, and are given a house that is as close to a natural family as possible. Growing up in such an environment gives children a sense of belonging and creates family ties where there might be none.”
The Duke and Duchess were given finger puppets, and Kate read a story.
More from Richard Palmer’s story for The Express:
After asking each of the children’s ages, he asked one little boy: “How old do you think I am?”
“Twenty one,” offered the child. “I’ll take twenty one, that’s good! “ he laughed.
““I am a little bit older than that. Can you guess? I have my own children. A little boy called Louis and then there is Charlotte and them George, who is six. He’s almost as old as you.”
Kensington Palace shared a video of Kate reading to the children while William joined along with his finger puppet.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) October 17, 2019
The Duke and Duchess then met and chatted with staff and supporters of the children’s home.
The royals joined in a birthday celebration for Iman (12), Ibrahim (6), and Daniyal (8).
Ibrahim is on the left in this photo; Iman is on the far right, and Daniyal is hidden behind the cake.
At the party, Kate delivered a speech.
The Duchess spoke about how she and William saw the importance of family in Pakistani culture. More from People’s story:
“Parents, children, aunts, uncles, grandparents all play important roles — you have reminded us exactly what family means,” she continued. “You have shown us too that it is not simply a term that describes the relationship between blood relatives. Instead it describes those special bonds we share with those who make us feel safe and supported. It is the quality of those relationships that matters.”
“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 thrive.”
Kate ended her remarks by offering birthday wishes to all three birthday children in an impressive attempt at Urdu, the Pakistani language:
“Assalam O Alaikum,” she said. “Iman, Ibrahim aur Daniyal apni salgirah pur bulanay ka bohat shukria.” (Translation: “Hello. Peace be upon you. Iman, Ibrahim and Daniyal, thank you for inviting us to your birthday celebration.”)
Below, a video shared by Rebecca English of The Daily Mail of the Duchess giving her speech:
Kate also gave her first (and I think only) speech of the tour and even said a few words in Urdu pic.twitter.com/0qzhZi4ivR
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) October 17, 2019
More from People:
Iman, who has been at the village for three years, told reporters, “It was very nice to meet the Prince and Princess. I am so happy and thankful to have them to celebrate my birthday.”
She added, “Her Urdu was very good!”
They were given some beautiful flowers before leaving.
Next up, it was time for some cricket at the National Cricket Academy.
The Duke and Duchess meeting players from the academy.
The royal couple spoke with students about the benefits of playing cricket.
The official post about the visit notes that the Duke and Duchess played in a match with children from the British Council’s DOSTI program, which “promotes sport as an integral part of children’s development and encourages social integration, increased self-esteem and the development of important life skills.”
Prince William was up first.
Kate takes a turn at bat.
A wide shot of the setting.
We learn more from Architectural Digest:
The gorgeous Gaddafi Stadium, formerly known as the Lahore Stadium, towered over the field, providing a stunning backdrop to the afternoon festivities. Designed by famous architect and engineer Nasreddin Murat-Khan, the stadium was built in 1959 and renovated several decades later, in 1996, for the Cricket World Cup finals. Architect Nayyar Ali Dada, who oversaw the renovation in 1996, redid the stadium in the Mughal style, with signature red, hand-laid brickwork and arches. It is to this day the largest cricket stadium in all of Pakistan.
The Duchess enjoying a good laugh.
ITV’s Lizzie Robinson tweeted a video of Kate playing.
Kate’s turn playing cricket 🏏 pic.twitter.com/Zh5QjCYtG3
— Lizzie Robinson (@LizzieITV) October 17, 2019
Kate always seems to enjoy herself at sporting engagements.
Two more images.
The couple after they finished playing.
Then it was time to get ready for a group picture.
Now for our look at what Kate wore. The Duchess was in a custom salwar kameez by Gul Ahmed, a popular Pakistani brand.
The tunic featured an embroidered design, side slits, long sleeves. The embroidery motif underscores Kate’s sartorial diplomacy skills, as it includes jasmine, Pakistan’s national flower. In this montage, you see a shot of one of the front fastenings on the piece in the upper left corner. It looks like three crystals or beads placed together.
More about the brand from The Daily Mail’s coverage:
The heavily embroidered design donned by Kate, as the pair jetted in from Islamabad, is from one of Pakistan’s biggest high street retailers, Gul Ahmed. The brand has been in business since the early 1900s, ships globally and has 100 shops across the country, and even an office in the UK.
This is a somewhat-similar style from the company.
Her dupatta is from a now-familiar name, Maheen Khan. It was tough finding closeups of the piece; these are the best I could come up with.
Her shoes are by J. Crew. They are the Lucie Suede Pump ($218, available in larger sizes) in a color called Ashen Brown. Made in Italy, the style features a d’Orsay cut, point-toe design, and 3″heel. The shoe is also offered at Zappos ($110 and in-stock in a mix of sizes), but it has a different style name: the Colette.
For the National Cricket Academy visit, Kate traded her J. Crew pumps for a pair of Hampton Canvas ‘Plum’ trainers ($50) by Trotters, UK.
You may remember seeing Princess Charlotte and Prince George wearing the same style.
At the airport, the Duchess carried her Bayswater Wallet Clutch by Mulberry in ‘buttercream’ suede. (Our photo shows the item in leather.)
It is one of three colors she owns; the others are black and a cranberry color. The Duchess wore her hair down when arriving in Lahore.
But pulled it back in a ponytail for the cricket engagement.
Kate had on her Asprey Oak Leaf Earrings.
A few quick editorial notes:
- Apologies for the delay in getting the rest of the Pakistan coverage finished and posted. I have had some obligations that consumed more time than anticipated.
- There will be a What Kate Wore 2020 Calendar, and we’re fortunate enough to be showcasing royal photographer Mark Stewart’s fabulous work again! It will be a little later than usual because of the time lost when recuperating from surgery.
- Kate’s Calendar here on the site is updated to reflect her attendance at a function next Tuesday when the Duchess will attend a reception the Queen is hosting at Buckingham Palace for NATO leaders and delegations
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone enjoying the holiday this week!
The Royal Family Channel has more than 4-1/2 minutes of coverage from the SOS CHildren’s Villages visit.
For cricket coverage, the Royal Family Channel offers more than three minutes of video.
- Learn more about SOS Children’s Villages Pakistan at the charity’s website here; its Facebook page is here; the Twitter feed is here and Instagram page here.
- The UK government report on today’s events is here, and the SOS Children’s Villages blog post is here
- Here is a terrific Financial Times piece on Lahore’s Walled City, with thanks to BertieGee for the tip via the Facebook page.
- The Daily Mail’s story is here; an Evening Standard article is here; Richard Palmer’s piece for The Express is here; The Mirror’s live blog recap is here; a Hello piece is here
- Town & Country’s story is here; People’s story is here; The Evening Standard’s gallery is here