Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton on Friday left for the United Kingdom after completing their eventful five-day visit of Pakistan, the first royal trip to the country in more than a decade.
They were seen off at the Nur Khan Airbase by British High Commissioner Thomas Drew and other officials.
The couple — the Duchess wearing shalwar kameez in black and white, after highlighting the traditional Pakistani dress throughout the trip — boarded the Royal Air Force Voyager plane, waving for the cameras one last time before departing.
Before leaving, the royal couple visited the Army Canine Centre in Islamabad, where Britain provides support to a programme that trains dogs to identify explosive devices.
At the facility, Prince William while speaking to journalists highlighted the importance of his country’s security ties with Pakistan, according to UK media.
He was quoted as saying: “The whole week we have been hearing about security in Pakistan and it’s really brought home to Catherine and I the importance of the relationship between the UK and Pakistan.”
The Duke noted that the people of Pakistan have lost many lives in the effort to secure the country.
“Those sacrifices from the Pakistanis should be acknowledged,” Prince William said. “Actually what happens here in Pakistan directly correlates to what happens on the streets of the UK.”
Earlier in the day, a plane carrying the British royal couple had safely landed in Islamabad, hours after two failed landing attempts in bad weather forced them to fly back to Lahore.
The duke and duchess of Cambridge ended up staying the night at a hotel in Lahore before finally flying back to Islamabad on Friday morning, according to British royal correspondents on board their plane.
It came after the royals spent a busy day in Lahore, during which they played cricket, visited a children’s orphanage and a cancer hospital, and toured the iconic Badshahi Mosque.
On the third day of their trip, the royals paid a visit to Chitral district to observe the effect of climate change in the region.
During the visit, the couple flew to the Baroghil Valley National Park in the extreme north and the Bumburate Valley in the south where they mingled with the Kalasha community.
Upon reaching the Bumburate Valley, the couple was given a red-carpet reception by the Kalasha community — led by MPA Wazir Zada — from where they drove to a number of sites devastated by flash floods in 2015. The royal couple was told about the causes of the natural disasters in the region.
The royal couple’s visit to the Khyber Pass was called off due to lack of time.
Analysts said the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit would help boost Pakistan’s image.