For afternoon engagements on Day 4 of the Pakistan tour, the Duchess chose a traditional salwar kameez and matching dupatta.
Their first engagement was at the iconic Badshahi Mosque in the heart of Lahore’s Walled City.
More about the area from the Walled City of Lahore Authority, a preservation organization.
The Walled City of Lahore, also known as Old City, forms the historic core of Lahore, Pakistan. The city was established around 1000 CE in the western half of the Walled City, which was fortified by a mud wall during the medieval era.
Below, a gate to the City.
These graphics offer before and after views of two restoration projects: on the left, repairs to the Shahi Hammam, a Persian-style bath constructed in 1635; on the right, conservation work that restored a British arsenal in the Lahore Fort that was built in 1857.
A closer look at a section of the wall.
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The mosque was built in the 17th century by Khateeb Maulana Abdul Khabeer Azad, and was considered a symbol of power in the Mughal Empire. Because of its tremendous size, however (it can easily welcome up to 10,000 worshippers), it was exploited for military purposes when civil war broke out in the region at the turn of the century, with Sikhs using the mosque as a stable for their horses and other military units. The mosque continued to be used for military storage during British rule, but in 1947, when Pakistan became an independent Muslim state, it underwent extreme repairs to be converted back into the beautiful house of worship that it is today.
A view at night.
The Duke and Duchess at the mosque today.
More from Architectural Digest.
The exterior of the mosque is decorated with carved red sandstone with marble inlay, and the interiors are decorated with elaborate white marble carved with a floral design that is immediately recognizable in Mughal artworks. The front entrance to the mosque also features a muqarna, an architectural feature special to the Middle East that is essentially an ornamented vaulting that resembles a honeycomb. It is meant to be a symbolic representation of universal creation by God.
Today the royals were given an overview of the mosque’s history.
The couple were invited to sit down cross-legged after being introduced to a group of scholars and religious leaders, who were sitting on cushions, for a discussion on promoting interfaith harmony among communities.
Among the group was Dr Ayesha Leghari, a Sunni Muslim scholar, who explained the verse to them. “I was telling then how it is compulsory for us to respect other religions,” Dr Leghari told reporters afterwards. She added that the couple were “charming” and interested and engaged in the discussion. The duke replied: “We are very happy people.”
William and Kate exiting the mosque.
Here you see them with Imam Abdul Kabir Azad.
And a lovely shot of the Duchess.
Following their visit to the mosque, the royals had another engagement, this one at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital.
The hospital was founded in 1994.
The driving force behind the hospital’s founding and growth was, and is, Imran Khan, Pakistan’s prime minister. Below, the Duke and Duchess are seen with the PM on Tuesday.
The hospital is named after the prime minister’s mother, Shaukat Khanum, who died of cancer. You may recall that Diana, Princess of Wales, was a close friend of the prime minister’s first wife, Jemima Khan, seen on the left in the photo below (the couple divorced in 2004). Diana stayed with the couple on multiple occasions when visiting the country. She made several trips to Pakistan to help with fundraising for the hospital. Below, photos from some of those efforts.
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Kensington Palace shared a photo of the late Princess visiting the hospital in 1996.
Back to today and a video of the couple being welcomed inside the hospital.
More about linkage between today’s visit and Diana’s involvement with the facility comes via the hospital’s post about the visit:
Dr Aasim Yusuf, chief medical officer at the hospital, guided their tour, just as he’d done with Princess Dianna during her last visit, one year before she died. Diana was on a private visit at the time to raise funds for the hospital. She was accompanied by Imran Khan and his then wife, Jemima Goldsmith –who was a close friend of the Princess.
Recalling Princess Diana’s visit, Dr. Aasim remarked on how friendly and down to earth she was, which put everyone at ease despite their nervousness to be hosting her. Today, Dr. Asim expressed that they felt honoured to be welcoming her son and his wife.
Here are some photos of that 1996 visit shared by Dr. Yusuf, with thanks to Chris Ship of ITV for his tweet of the images.
When Princess Diana went to the children’s cancer hospital in Lahore in 1996 & 1997, she was shown around by Dr Aasim Yusuf. He is showing the cancer unit to Prince William & Kate today.
Here are some personal pictures he shared with us of Diana’s visit 📷 📷#RoyalVisitPakistan pic.twitter.com/pgeNgtdgeV
— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) October 17, 2019
The royals spent time with staff and administrators, as well as patients.
Below, chatting with Fariha Jahanzeb, a patient at the hospital.
The Duke played a fishing game with Muhammad Samir, who is five years old. Richard Palmer of The Express reports Muhammad has Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and he wants to be a soldier.
Kate made friends with another young man.
He let her fly his jet and play with his Thomas the Tank Engine train.
Then it was time for tiaras and a tea party! The hostess: 7-year-old Wafia Rehmani.
Wafia is the youngest of nine siblings, and her parents brought her to the hospital from Afghanistan. Wafia has a kidney tumor and is undergoing her second course of chemotherapy; doctors are optimistic that she will recover.
In her coverage for The Telegraph, Hannah Furness reports that “Wafia… had carefully arranged her tea set and brought two plastic, bejewelled tiaras in advance for the visit. Wafia carefully poured the Duke and Duchess pretend cups of tea from her plastic tea set, as they stopped at her bedside…”.
More from The Telegraph’s coverage:
“Her father calls her princess and she likes to wear a crown. Now she is looking forward to meeting a real princess,” her brother, Hedyatullah Rehmani, said as they waited for the couple to arrive at the children’s chemotherapy ward.
When the couple sat down beside her bed, Wafia offered the Duchess the tiara to wear and the Duchess accepted.
A quick video from the tea party.
— The Royal Family Channel (@RoyalFamilyITNP) October 18, 2019
The little girl wants to be a doctor when she grows up; she showed the royals her toy medical set during their visit.
How precious is Wafia?
Another view of Kate at the hospital.
Now we make a rather awkward turn from those fighting life-threatening illnesses to our look at what Kate wore for this afternoon’s engagements. She was in another traditional ensemble by Maheen Khan, a salwar kameez (salwar is the loose-fitting trousers; the kameez is the fitted tunic) and dupatta (long scarf) with distinctive gold embroidery and trim.
“It couldn’t be more perfect!” Onita Prasada, the store owner, tells PEOPLE. “The whole thing just frames her body so beautifully. I love the way she wore the scarf, and the silk gold thread edging just reflects off her face so beautifully.”
Made from French chiffon, the shalwar kameez is hand embroidered in gold-colored silk by the tribespeople of Swarth in Pakistan. Worn with a bespoke scarf, or dupatta as it is locally known, the designer made it especially for Kate,
“Normally this would take about three months to make because of all the intricate embroidery,” explains Prasada.
A closer look at the embroidery, beading, and trim. According to this Daily Mail piece, the needlework is “gold silk phulkari, or flower work, to resemble the hills of Northern Pakistan.”
A similar ensemble is shown as being available at Studio by TCS ($510), an online site featuring Pakistani designers.
The color of the top, trousers, and dupatta is described as ‘royal teal,’ with the kameez and dupatta made of chiffon and the trousers of a silk crêpe material.
This Daily Mail story has more on the O’nitaa London boutique connection and Kate’s stylist, Natasha Archer.
It was Natasha who introduced Kate to much-loved Pakistani designer Maheen Khan after finding her designs at O’Nitaa, in London‘s Chelsea Green, and getting in touch with the 74-year-old to create some custom-made pieces for the royal.
Speaking exclusively to FEMAIL, she said: ‘Natasha picked up a lot of outfits for approval, including the teal outfit before she went back and asked O’Nitaa for my contact details.
‘Then Natasha approached me and asked if I had the teal in a smaller size. It was lucky that I had one in stock as I don’t believe in machine embroidery.’
This is the fourth time we saw Kate in Maheen Khan. For engagements in Islamabad, the Duchess wore a periwinkle blue ensemble; for meetings and a luncheon with political leaders later that day she was in a pair of trousers by the designer; when arriving in Lahore Kate accessorized with a scarf by Ms. Khan; this afternoon’s outfit makes the fourth occasion this week the Duchess wore Maheen Khan.
It has been good for business and the designer is appreciative. Pakistan Fashion Week London was held at the end of November, and Maheen Khan started her show with a tribute to Kate, featuring designs made for the Duchess. In an Instagram post, she wrote “My tribute to HRH the Duchess of Cambridge who wore the Pakistani National dress with such grace.” In a BBC Asia interview, she said, “I have five girls wearing similar outfits that I made for the princess, one of them (the periwinkle blue) I have repeated for you to see.’”
Ms. Khan says she will not make identical outfits, but she is offering similar designs with some changes. Ms.Khan also shared a letter on social media from Kate thanking her for her work on designs the Duchess wore during the tour.
In terms of accessories, there are few to cover. The Duchess did not wear shoes for the mosque engagement. For the hospital visit, she brought back the Lucie Suede Pumps ($218, available in larger sizes) by J Crew first worn for this morning’s engagements. The shoe is also offered at Zappos ($110 and available in a mix of sizes), but it has a different style name: the Colette. (We show the style below as worn this morning.)
Kate also repeated her Catherine Zoraida Fern Hoop earrings (£150/$197), shown below as worn to a previous engagement.
A reminder that tomorrow (Wednesday, the 11th) we expect the Duchess to attend the Queen’s annual diplomatic reception at Buckingham Palace. This is a white-tie affair, so we will see Kate and many other royals in evening gowns and tiara.
This SAMAA TV video has more than two minutes of coverage of the mosque visit.
The Royal Family Channel offers about 1:15 coverage of the hospital visit.
The Royal Family Channel also has more than 3 minutes of video covering Diana’s visits to Pakistan for fundraising efforts and to visit the hospital.
The Shaukat Khanum Hospital posted a 2-minute video on its Facebook page.
This BBC Asia story features Maheen Khan talking about the Duchess wearing her designs, and shoes the five designs shown as a tribute to Kate that she used to open her recent runway show in London.
- The Daily Mail’s story on both engagements is here; The Scotsman article is here; The Observer’s article on the hospital visit is here; The Telegraph’s coverage is here
- a People piece on the mosque visit is here; Hello’s piece on the hospital visit is here; the Imran Khan Cancer Appeal release about the hospital visit is here; Monique Jessen’s People story about the salwar kameez is here; Town & Country’s coverage of Kate’s look is here
- A BBC gallery covering the entire day is here; the full Architectural Digest story on “All the Gorgeous Architecture Prince William and Duchess Kate Visited in Pakistan” may be read here