PRINCESS DIANA’S legacy as a philanthropist lives on in her sons who have continued her efforts to support causes that were close to her heart. But how are the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge paying a touching tribute to the departed people’s princess?
Princess Diana was a beloved national treasure and to this day still holds a place in hearts across the nation. Her untimely and tragic death in 1997 cut short her impressive charitable work around the globe, but as working royals, her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, often honour her in their own commitments. This month, Diana’s eldest son and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, will be following in the late Princess of Wales’ footsteps paying her a touching tribute. But how are the royal couple planning to do this?
In June, Kensington Palace announced the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would undertake an official visit to Pakistan this autumn.
The couple will embark on a tour at the request of the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, making the first official royal visit to the country since Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, visited in 2006.
Pakistan was visited three times by Princess Diana during the 1990s and reportedly held a special place in her heart.
The people’s princess visited in 1991, which marked an extremely important milestone for Princess Diana: her first official solo tour.
Princess Diana tribute: How are the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge planning to follow Diana’s lead? (Image GETTY)
Diana had reportedly been keen to prove her worth in the Royal Family and took on a huge range of engagements during the busy tour, including a girls school, the Badshahi Mosque, the Kinnaird College for Women in Lahore, and family welfare centre in Islamabad.
Princess Diana’s former bodyguard Ken Wharfe wrote of her experiences in Pakistan in his book Diana – Closely Guarded Secret.
He wrote: “The headlines screamed that Diana had taken Pakistan by storm, that her visit had been a resounding success.
“The tabloids predictably hailed her vociferously as the jewel in the royal family’s crown, one of them claiming, employing a typically lame pun, that she was ‘All the Raj’.
Princess Diana tribute: Kate Middleton and Princess Diana wearing similar outfits with headscarves (Image GETTY)
“The Princess could barely contain her elation. As far as she was concerned, she had arrived as a public figure on the world stage.
“Her success in Pakistan crystallised the Princess’s determination to ‘go solo’, a phrase she loved to use.
“Nobody, and especially not her husband, was going to stop her now.”
Diana visited the region again in 1996 and May 1997, three months before she died.
Princess Diana tribute: Princess Diana visited Pakistan three times during the 1990s (Image GETTY)
The Cambridge couple will be visiting with Imran Khan, who is now Prime Minister of Pakistan and was a close friend of Diana’s, on their tour this year where they will likely share fond memories of the departed princess.
While it has not been confirmed it is also likely the couple will visit the cardiac unit for impoverished children that Diana opened in Pakistan with the help of Mr Khan’s distant cousin, a heart surgeon Dr Hasnat Khan.
Kate and William’s official visit to Pakistan will take place from October 14 to October 18.
The dates were released as Kensington Palace announced the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would “attend a special event at the Aga Khan Centre on October 2, hosted by His Highness The Aga Khan.”
Princess Diana tribute: Princess Diana being welcomed to Lahore, Pakistan, by Imran Khan in 1996 (Image GETTY)
High Commissioner for Pakistan to the United Kingdom, Mohammad Nafees Zakaria, said he “welcomed” the royal couple.
In a statement, he 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.”
Mr Nafees Zakaria described the upcoming trip as a “reflection of the importance the United Kingdom attaches to its relations to Pakistan”.
He added: “The two countries enjoy historical links which both sides wish to strengthen further.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK