Prince William and Kate Middleton may have bid goodbye to Pakistan for now but that doesn’t mean us Pakistanis are getting over the royal visit anytime soon. The couple’s maiden trip was the first royal trip in almost 13 years and frankly speaking one we very much needed as we try to build ourselves up after years of being labelled a terrorist and backward country.
The first full day of the Royals tour wrapped up with a grand reception hosted in their honour at the Pakistan Monument in Islamabad. The reception saw who’s who of Pakistan in attendance and it was without a doubt one of the most lit nights in recent times as the royals mingled with celebrities, sportspersons, politicians, humanitarians, business tycoons and entrepreneurs.
While Kate glittered in a gown by Jenny Packham, Prince William donned a teal sherwani by Karachi-based designer Nauman Afreen becoming the first-ever Royal to do so.
I secretly wished that I had attended the event and my Insta and Twitter stalking throughout the event I was glued to my phone getting excited over every update. Lucky for me, I managed to speak to a few people who attended the event and gave me all the inside details including what was on the menu and how it was like meeting William and Kate.
First things first. Everyone who attended the event literally had the same thing to say about the Duke and Duchess. They described the couple as extremely pleasant, down to earth and very friendly. They said that they paid great attention to whoever they were talking to and had lots of positive things to say about Pakistan and it’s people.
Mehwish Hayat, in a Whatsapp conversation, said that Willam “was genuinely very happy to visit Pakistan and getting the chance to meet ‘amazing people’ and receiving so much love and warmth.”
“No wonder my mother loved coming here,” he said to Mehwish.
Mehwish also shared that she spoke to him about running the London Marathon next year for girl’s education in Pakistan and her work with the Ministry of Human Rights for girl’s rights in the country, something the Prince was very delighted to know about.
“He shared their experience of visiting the kids at the school earlier during the day and how the kids were so keen to get an education,” Mehwish revealed.
The event was invite-based only. Cars were parked a little bit away from the venue, and rickshaws were in place to take everyone from the parking to the main event. The decorations were beautifully done and the ambiance was very nice.
Initially, the guests mingled among themselves. There were two sections – one section for the VVIPS and one for all the others who were invited. When the royal couple arrived, they went there directly to the VVIP section where they made rounds and spoke to people before Prince William delivered his first speech.
During his keynote speech, Prince William highlighted the relationship between the UK and Pakistan – and also referred to when his grandmother the Queen 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.”
“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.”
William also spoke of the “unique bonds” between the two countries and that Pakistan can “rely on the UK to keep playing an important role as a key partner and [a] friend”.
The most important part of any event is the food so we did some research on what was served to the guests. As per our sources, the menu had a variety of options available. There was paneer tikka, savoury tarts, small quiche bites, lemon tarts and macarons.
It was a royal night indeed and everyone seemed to have had a ball. Kate and William’s maiden visit will go down in history and will definitely be one to remember for times to come.