Prince William, Wife Begin Pakistan Tour

Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge unveils the plaques as he officially opens the new graduate building, the H B Allen Centre, at Keble College, Oxford University in Oxford, central England on October 3, 2019. DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / POOL / AFP

 

Prince William and his wife Kate arrived in Pakistan to a red carpet welcome late Monday for their “most complex” tour to date, with Islamabad eager to tout improved security after years of violent militancy.

The couple — the Duchess of Cambridge in a sea-green shalwar kameez, and the Duke in a dark suit — were greeted by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and presented with flowers after they landed in a British government plane at a military base in Rawalpindi, the garrison city adjacent to the capital Islamabad, state television images showed.

Details of the five-day visit are being kept under wraps. Security is expected to be tight for the couple’s first official trip to Pakistan, and the first visit by a British royal since William’s father Charles and his wife Camilla came in 2006.

In addition to Islamabad they are set to visit the ancient Mughal capital of Lahore, as well as the mountainous north and the region near the border with Afghanistan in the west.

Kensington Palace has called the trip “the most complex tour undertaken by The Duke and Duchess to date, given the logistical and security considerations”.

The couple are also expected to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was close friends with William’s mother, the late Princess Diana.

“I’ve always been struck by the warmth in Pakistan towards the Royal Family,” British High Commissioner Thomas Drew said in a video published to Twitter late Sunday.

The couple’s programme will pay respect to Britain’s historic relationship with Pakistan, once part of colonial India, he said.

“But it will focus largely on showcasing Pakistan as it is today, a dynamic, aspirational, and forward-looking nation,” Drew continued.

They are expected to see Pakistan’s efforts to combat climate change and learn about the “complex security” of the region, among other issues, a statement from Kensington Palace said earlier this month.

Pakistan has waged a long battle with militancy which has seen tens of thousands of people killed in the past 15 or so years.

Charles’ and Camilla’s 2006 trip was tainted when they were forced to pull out of a visit to Peshawar over safety concerns after the military launched an airstrike on a religious school that killed 80 people.

Diana held in ‘high esteem’ 

But security has improved dramatically since the army intensified a crackdown on militant groups in 2015, with several countries changing their travel warnings for Pakistan as a result, and Islamabad eager to promote both tourism and foreign investment.

There are promising signs, such as the British Airways return earlier this year after more than a decade, and the slow but steady revival of international cricket.

Analysts have long warned that Pakistan is not yet getting to the root causes of extremism, however, and militants retain the ability to carry out attacks, including in urban areas.

Moments before the couple’s arrival Monday, Qureshi used televised comments to invoke the memory of Diana, who charmed Pakistanis when she visited in her official capacity in 1991.

She also made several private visits in later years to help Khan — then a cricketer-turned-opposition politician married to her friend Jemima — raise money for a cancer hospital in Lahore.

“She is held in very high esteem in Pakistan… We are happy that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are now coming,” Qureshi said.

The visit showed that Pakistan has come out of “difficult times”, he added.

Pakistan was carved out of colonial India to become independent from Britain in 1947, creating an Islamic Republic for the subcontinent’s Muslims.

Britain is home to more than a million people of Pakistani origin, making it the largest Pakistani diaspora community in Europe.

 Britain’s Prince William And Kate Welcome New Son

Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born son, their third child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital in central London, on April 23, 2018. PHOTO: Isabel INFANTES / AFP

 

Kate, the wife of Prince William, gave birth to a baby boy on Monday, the couple’s third child who is fifth in line to the British throne.

The boy, weighing eight pounds and seven ounces (3.8 kilogrammes), was born at 11:01 am (1001 GMT), Kensington Palace announced.

Mother and baby are both doing well, the palace said, and William, the Duke of Cambridge, was present for the birth.

William was seen smiling as he left St. Mary’s Hospital in central London shortly after 4:00 pm, waving to media outlets from around the world assembled outside.

He returned half an hour later, having collected from school the couple’s two other children; four-year-old Prince George and Princess Charlotte, aged two.

Charlotte gave a wave to the crowd of onlookers and media as the trio entered the hospital,

Queen Elizabeth II, William’s father Prince Charles, and his brother Prince Harry were said to be delighted with the news.

“Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 11:01 hours,” the palace announced in its brief statement.

Prime Minister Theresa May led the messages of support saying: “My warmest congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of their baby boy.

“I wish them great happiness for the future.”

Kate, 36, was admitted early Monday to the hospital’s private Lindo Wing, where she had given birth to George and Charlotte.

Royal fanatics, who had been camped outside the hospital wing for several days in anticipation, jumped for joy and popped open champagne.

“We’re going to celebrate with fish and chips!” said John Loughrey, who was wearing a Union Jack hat and clutching a plastic doll with a crown.

Maria Scott, 46, a housewife from Newcastle in northeast England, has been in place for 15 days.

“It’s really important to show support because they need to know how much they are loved by the people,” she told AFP.

“We’re very proud of our monarchy.”

The baby was born on St. George’s Day, England’s national day.

Tony Appleton, a town-crier dressed in a flamboyant red uniform, announced the news from the steps of the hospital to a crowd of supporters and media.

The birth was also announced on the display screen atop the 189-metre (620 feet) BT Tower in London, with the message “It’s a boy!”

Meanwhile, sailors and royal marines aboard HMS Albion lined up on the flight deck of the assault ship on operations in the Asia-Pacific region to spell out “boy!”

 Name speculation

The baby boy is a sixth great-grandchild for Queen Elizabeth, who turned 92 on Saturday, and her husband Prince Philip.

He will hold the title of Prince after the Queen changed the rules in 2012 to ensure that all of William’s children would be entitled to the style, not just his eldest son.

As with their two other children, the royal couple did not know whether the baby was going to be a boy or a girl.

Bookmakers have Arthur, Albert, Frederick, James and Philip as their favourites for the young prince’s name.

The boy does not overtake Charlotte in the line of succession due to new laws agreed across the 16 Commonwealth realms where Queen Elizabeth is the head of state, including Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

A night at the Lindo Wing costs £7,500 ($10,500, 8,550 euros), including a delivery package and two-room suite, excluding consultants’ fees.

The birth was overseen by consultant obstetrician Guy Thorpe-Beeston, who is the surgeon-gynecologist to the royal household, and consultant gynaecologist Alan Farthing, the Queen’s surgeon-gynaecologist.

They were part of the trusted team who also delivered George and Charlotte.

The duchess had suffered severe morning sickness during all three pregnancies.

Gun salutes planned

William, who is destined to become king after Charles, and Kate met at St. Andrews University in Scotland.

They tied the knot at Westminster Abbey in London on April 29, 2011, in a ceremony watched by up to two billion people worldwide. The marriage helped breathe new life into Britain’s monarchy after years of crisis.

The Sun newspaper reported Sunday that Kate’s sister Pippa Middleton, 34, is pregnant with her first child.

The new royal baby’s birth will be celebrated with a 41-gun salute in London’s Hyde Park and The Tower of London will also fire 62 rounds.

AFP

Prince William’s Wife, Kate In Labour With Third Child

FILE COPY Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge wave on arrival to undertake engagements celebrating the Commonwealth, at a SportsAid event held at the Copperbox Arena in the Olympic Park in London.  Photo Credit: Chris Jackson / POOL / AFP

 

Kate, the wife of Britain’s Prince William, was admitted to hospital in London on Monday in the early stages of labour, Kensington Palace announced.

The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting her third child, after Prince George and Princess Charlotte. The baby will be fifth in line to the British throne.

The 36-year-old was admitted to the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital in central London, where George, four, and two-year-old Charlotte were born.

She was accompanied by William, their Kensington Palace home said in a statement. The hospital is a mile (less than two kilometers) from the palace.

“Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was admitted to St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London earlier this morning in the early stages of labour,” the statement said.

“The Duchess travelled by car from Kensington Palace to the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital with The Duke of Cambridge.”

Royal fanatics have been camped outside the hospital wing for several days in anticipation.

A night at the Lindo Wing costs £7,500 ($10,500, 8,550 euros), including a delivery package and two-room suite, excluding consultants’ fees.

The baby will be a sixth great-grandchild for Queen Elizabeth II, who turned 92 on Saturday, and her husband Prince Philip.

It will hold the title of prince or princess after Queen Elizabeth changed the rules in 2012 to ensure that all of William’s children would be entitled to the style.

 Name speculation 

As with their two previous children, the royal couple do not know whether the baby is a boy or a girl.

Bookmakers have Mary, Alice, Victoria, Alexandra and Maria as the favourite girls’ names, with Arthur, Albert, Frederick, James and Philip the most popular boys’ names.

If the baby is a boy, it will no longer overtake Charlotte in the line of succession due to new laws agreed across the 16 Commonwealth realms where Queen Elizabeth is the head of state, including Canada, Australia and Jamaica.

Under the law, designed to end male primogeniture for William’s children, any boys born after October 28, 2011 could not overtake their elder sisters.

Kate is being cared for by consultant obstetrician Guy Thorpe-Beeston, who is the surgeon-gynaecologist to the royal household, and consultant gynaecologist Alan Farthing, the Queen’s surgeon-gynaecologist — part of the trusted team who delivered George and Charlotte.

William, who is destined to become king after his father Prince Charles, and Kate met at St. Andrews University in Scotland. They married at Westminster Abbey in London on April 29, 2011.

The birth will be announced in both traditional and modern fashion.

A proclamation will be placed on an easel in the grounds of Buckingham Palace for the public to see. At the same time, Kensington Palace will release the news on its Twitter feed.

The birth will be celebrated with a 41-gun salute in London’s Hyde Park — the standard 21 rounds with an extra 20 because it is a royal park.

The Tower of London will fire 62 rounds: 21, plus 20 because it is a royal palace, and a further 21 because it is in the historic City of London.

AFP