The reception at the Pakistan National Monument, Islamabad held last night was set to highlight the relationship between the UK and the Commonwealth country. The reception was hosted by the British High Commissioner Thomas Drew CMG and Mrs Joanna Drew CMG in honour of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Prince William and Kate Middleton arrived at the evening reception in a brightly painted rickshaw!
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with British High Commissioner Thomas Drew and his wife Joanna Drew.
The event showcased Pakistani music and culture. The couple met individuals from business, the creative arts, music and the film industry and members of the government.
During his speech, Prince William highlighted the relationship between the UK and Pakistan – and also referred to when his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, visited more than fifty years ago, saying: ‘Stood here with this magnificent monument behind me, I am struck by the great strides Pakistan has made since its birth seventy-two years ago.’
Prince William began his speech with ‘As-salamu alaykum and said ‘Already Catherine and I’ve been honoured by the hospitality you have shown..I’d like to begin by saying bohat shukria to you all for making us so welcome in your country’.
‘The view from this hill would have been quite different when my grandmother, The Queen, first visited over half a century ago. Looking out, one would have seen the beginnings of a city under construction, yet to become the great capital that it is today.’
‘And with successive visits by my mother and my father, this view has continued to change, with the city constantly growing and with it my family’s affection for Pakistan.’
‘We share unique bonds and so it will always be in our best interests for Pakistan to succeed. You can always rely on the UK to keep playing an important role as a key partner and friend.’
Prince William also talked about a famous quote by Mohammad Ali Jinnah, ‘No struggle can ever succeed without women participating side by side with men’.
Prince William also raised the issue of climate change in his speech, saying that the country’s glaciers were under threat and as a result its water supply.
‘For a country so young, Pakistan has endured many hardships, with countless lives lost to terror and hatred. Tonight I want to pay tribute to all those who have endured such sacrifice and helped to build the country that we see today,’ he said.
‘Whether in Pakistan or the UK or elsewhere on our planet – we face shared global challenges. The effects of climate change threaten the present and the future – and therefore demand a concerted effort by everyone.
‘In Pakistan, your spectacular glaciers – and those of the wider Hindu Kush-Himalaya region – serve as a critical water store for a quarter of a billion people; and over 1.6 billion people rely on the great rivers that flow from the mountains in this part of the world.
‘Yet, because the effects of global warming at altitude, a one and a half degree Celsius temperature increase overall could mean warming of over two degrees Celsius for northern Pakistan’s highest mountains.
The Duchess wore a glittering emerald-green Jenny Packham gown while Prince William wore a dark teal traditional sherwani by Nauman Arfeen.
Well-known faces from the Pakistani entertainment industry were also spotted at the evening.