In October I was honoured to be personally invited by the British High Commission in Pakistan to cover the royal visit on behalf of the British Asian Trust. Because of my involvement and support for the British Asian Trust’s work, as well as my popularity among British Pakistanis, the British High Commission and Kensington Palace decided it would be great for me to share images and videos of the visit with my followers. So that’s why I was invited in case you were wondering!
This was the first trip by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Pakistan. A very exciting time for the country and for me too as I’d never covered a unique tour like this before!
During their five day visit the Duke and Duchess visited a government-run school for disadvantaged youngsters in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad. The Duke spoke about the importance of young people learning about mental health on the first stop of their tour. It was great to see them addressing mental health as last year I was actually out in Karachi visiting some of the British Asian Trust’s excellent mental health and wellbeing projects.
Many people don’t know that more than 50 million people across Pakistan are affected by mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, yet understanding of mental health is very low and the whole subject is highly stigmatised which is why the work that the British Asian Trust is doing is highly crucial.
So the royal pair visited Islamabad, Lahore and Chitral and the images that went around the world showed how they really embraced the country and its culture.
One of the highlights for me was the big Royal Reception at Pakistan Monument. A pretty spectacular building and outdoor location for the star-studded event. The who’s who of the country attended including figures from Pakistan's business, music and film industries, as well as members of the Government. The royals arrived in a colourful auto rickshaw wearing stunning Asian attire. Being the British Asian Trust’s ambassador, I was very lucky to be the only person allowed to take my phone in so I could share the evening with my followers. I was also given exclusive access to the red carpet so got to speak to many actors, singers and political figures. It was a brilliant night which was meticulously organised.
The royals had a hugely successful tour and the country fell in love with the pair. Be it SOS Children’s Village, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital or the stunning Badshahi Mosque- they highlighted important issues to discuss throughout.
I felt extremely proud to be included to represent the British Asian Trust during this royal visit and witness members of the royal family take deep interest in issues such as mental health that the British Asian Trust runs projects in.
Noreen Khan, Ambassador - British Asian Trust