During their packed day-long trip to Lahore, the UK’s royal couple Prince William and Kate Middleton on Thursday visited the iconic Badshahi Mosque, where they joined a discussion with religious leaders on promoting interfaith harmony and also listened to the recitation of the Holy Quran.
The Badshahi Mosque located within the Walled City was also visited by William’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth II when she was in the country with husband Prince Philip in 1961, and his late mother Princess Diana during her 1991 tour, Dawn news reported.
During the visit, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge changed into formal attire with William sporting a suit and tie and Middleton donned a green tunic, trousers and dupatta.
After their trip to the mosque, the couple paid a visit to the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, where they met children suffering from cancer and also visited the department hosting the hospital’s radiation machine.
William and Kate met five-year-old Muhammad Samir in the chemotherapy ward, a boy who has Hodgkin lymphoma but wants to be a soldier. The Duke played with his fishing game as the pair tried to hook toy fish.
In the evening, the Royal Air Force plane carrying the royal couple was forced to abort a landing in Islamabad twice and return to Lahore after being caught in a severe thunderstorm.
On Monday, Prince William and Kate Middleton arrived in Pakistan for a five-day visit.
On their first visit to Pakistan, the royal couple was welcomed by Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his wife at the Nur Khan Airbase.
The visit was organised at the request of the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The visit comes 13 years after Charles and Camilla – the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwell – toured the country in 2006. Pakistan still vividly remembers the late Princess Diana’s visit in 1996.
“The UK’s links with Pakistan are extensive, and Their Royal Highnesses are looking forward to building a lasting friendship with the people of Pakistan,” according to a statement by the royal couple’s spokesperson on Oct 4.
Earlier this month, Prince William and Kate had said that they were excited to visit the “beautiful” country to meet its people and to experience its culture.
Previously, Queen Elizabeth II had visited in 1961 and 1997, and the late Princess Diana in 1991.