Prince William and Kate Middleton are currently on a royal tour of Pakistan. And it’s been filled with emotional, nostalgic meetings, as Prince William’s mother, the late Princess Diana, was connected to the country. Diana traveled to Pakistan several times, and was in a relationship with Pakistani heart surgeon Dr. Hasnat Khan for two years before her untimely death. William and Kate’s tour is something of an echo of Diana’s 1997 visit, one intended to highlight the importance of girls’ education. It is the first time that any member of the royal family has visited Pakistan in 13 years.
During a visit to the Islamabad Model College for Girls, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge smiled and posed for photos with the young students, ranging from kindergartners to sixth graders. William was reportedly told that the girls were “big fans” of his mother. “You were, really?,” he replied. “Oh that’s very sweet of you. I was a big fan of my mother too. She came here three times. I was very small.”
Following their tour of the school, William and Kate met Prime Minister Imran Khan for lunch (Kate looked pretty fabulous in a green tunic by Catherine Walker over cream-colored pants by Pakistani designer Maheen Khan, with a printed scarf by Satrangi and earrings by Zeen). Khan was a close friend of Diana’s, and hosted the late Princess of Wales during her visit to Lahore in 1997. The Prime Minister, a former cricket star and major celebrity who launched his own political party in 1996, has spoken publicly about Diana’s relationship with Dr. Khan.
“[Diana] had been involved with him for two years and she had wanted to marry him. It was clear that she was very deeply in love with [him],” he said in a 2000 documentary. But the couple broke up, reportedly due to Khan’s concerns about media attention, a month before Diana’s death.
In their meeting, William and Kate exchanged gifts with Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi. In the evening, they attended a reception hosted by Thomas Drew, the British High Commissioner to Pakistan, at the Pakistan National Monument. William wore traditional dress (don’t @ us, but the baldness is kind of working for him?), while Kate wore earrings from South Asian luxury retailer Onitaa with a sequined Jenny Packham gown. The royals have three days left of their tour.