Prince Harry and Meghan Markle won’t be the only royals jet-setting this year. On Saturday, Kensington Palace announced that Prince William and Kate Middleton will be traveling to Pakistan in the fall. The trip will make the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge the first royals in more than 13 years to travel to the Islamic republic — the last royal visit was in 2006, when Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, traveled to the area.
The announcement came by way of Kensington Palace’s official social media feeds, although dates for the travel have yet to be revealed. “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will undertake an official visit to Pakistan this autumn, at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office,” Kensington Palace wrote, noting, “Further details will be advised in due course.” It’s unclear at this point whether William and Kate’s children — Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 4, and Prince Louis, 14 months — will accompany their parents to Pakistan.
The Palace also pointed out that Her Majesty The Queen made official royal visits to Pakistan in 1961 and 1997. However, the trip could be particularly sentimental for William, as his late mother Princess Diana memorably traveled there in 1991.
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🇵🇰 The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will undertake an official visit to Pakistan this autumn, at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Further details will be advised in due course. Her Majesty The Queen visited Pakistan in 1961 and 1997, and The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visited in 2006. Swipe to see photos from the visits: 2. The Queen attends a State Banquet at the President's House, Karachi, in 1961. 3. The Queen meets members of the Pakistan cricket team at the Rawalpindi cricket ground, in 1997. 4. The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall at the Badshahi Mosque, Lahore, in 2006. Photos courtesy of the Press Association and @royalcollectiontrust #Pakistan #RoyalVisitPakistan
Mohammad Nafees Zakaria, the high commissioner for Pakistan, told BBC News that the announcement of William and Kate’s visit is a welcome one. “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,” Zakaria said, adding that the countries “enjoy historical links which both sides wish to strengthen further.”
The news comes mere days after the official confirmation that Harry and Meghan will be making a royal visit to South Africa in the fall. Per the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Instagram account, it will be their “first official tour as a family,” meaning baby Archie will likely be making the trip. “The Duke and Duchess are really looking forward to meeting so many of you on the ground and continuing to raise awareness of the high impact work local communities are doing across the Commonwealth and beyond,” Harry and Meghan shared.
So, it sounds like the royal family will be logging some serious air miles this fall as Prince William, Prince Harry and their respective families build on their new (separate) roles in the royal family.