Kensington Palace has announced that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be visiting Pakistan this autumn.
The official visit comes at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
While further details will be announced in due course, Prince William and Kate Middleton are expected to be promoting trade between Pakistan and the United Kingdom as the U.K. is Pakistan’s largest export market in Europe and the second largest in the world.
The United Kingdom also spends more on development in Pakistan than any other country does, mostly being health and education.
Upon the news of the visit, High Commissioner for Pakistan, Mohammad Nafees Zakaria said, “The Government and the people of Pakistan warmly welcome the announcement of the Royal Visit by Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Pakistan this year. The people of Pakistan still cherish and fondly recall the visits of Her Majesty The Queen to Pakistan during 1961 and 1997. The upcoming Royal Visit is a reflection of the importance the United Kingdom attaches to its relations with Pakistan. The two countries enjoy historical links which both sides wish to strengthen further.”
Apart from Queen Elizabeth’s visits in 1961 and 1997, Prince Charles and Camilla undertook a week-long visit to Islamabad and surrounding areas in 2006.
Diana, Princess of Wales’ first solo tour was also to Pakistan where she fell in love with the country. “Diana adored Pakistan. It was this strange spiritual connection this very English girl had with such a different culture and I think America and Pakistan were the two places where she felt most at home,” Earl Spencer, Diana’s brother, recalled. Diana would return many times before her death.