ISLAMABAD – The UK’s Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Catherine, on Thursday celebrated three children’s birthdays at an orphanage, tried their hand at cricket and visited a cancer hospital during their visit to Pakistan.
A third day of activities took the royal couple to the eastern city of Lahore, where they visited a center run by nonprofit SOS villages, which hosts around 150 orphans.
The pair attended birthday celebrations for Iman, 12, Ibrahim, 6, and Daniyal, 8, sang “Happy Birthday” to the children and cut a cake with them.
“It’s very nice to meet the Prince and Princess. I am so happy and thankful to have them to celebrate my birthday,” Iman was quoted as saying by local media.
Later the duo went to the National Cricket Academy where they got a chance to show off their skills.
Cricket, which originated in the UK, is by far the most popular sport in Pakistan and children can be seen playing it in streets and parks all over the country.
The royals next visited the Badshahi mosque, a striking example of Mughal architecture built in the 17th century with red stone.
There, the pair discussed the promotion of harmony between religions with religious leaders and listened to Quran recitals.
The mosque was visited by Queen Elizabeth II – William’s grandmother – in 1961 and his mother Princess Diana in 1991.
Next on the agenda was a visit to the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, founded in 1994 by the current Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Diana, a friend of Khan, visited the country in 1996 and 1997 to collect funds for the hospital.
The Duke and Duchess arrived in Pakistan on Monday and the next day visited a school to show support for girls’ education before having lunch with Khan.
On Wednesday, they flew to the remote Chiatibo glacier, close to the Afghanistan border, to see the impact of climate change with their own eyes.
“This is the most complex tour undertaken by The Duke and Duchess to date, given the logistical and security considerations,” Kensington Palace said in a statement.
This is the first Pakistan visit by British royals since 2006, when the Prince of Wales, Charles, and his wife Camila visited.