Prince William and Kate Middleton’s royal tour of Pakistan is delighting their fans – but it appears one event didn’t go down well with officials from the host country.
Six Pakistani government ministers walked out of a reception because they weren’t allowed to meet the couple, it is claimed.
The officials were said to be “annoyed” by “very stupid” security arrangements, so they decided to leave Monday night’s event hosted by Thomas Drew, the British High Commissioner to Pakistan, in the capital Islamabad.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived at the reception, held at the hilltop Pakistan Monument, in a colourful auto rickshaw, with Kate, 37, wearing a glittering green dress and William dressed in a traditional sherwani suit.
Jonny Dymond, the BBC’s royal correspondent, tweeted: “Six Pakistani ministers walked out of the #RoyalVisitPakistan British High Commission reception on Monday night @bbcurdu reports.
“They were reportedly annoyed at their place in the gathering. Commission response to follow.”
He later wrote: “The Commission has replied. It says the Duke and Duchess ‘were delighted to meet a range of people from across Pakistani society’.”
A report by BBC Urdu said half a dozen ministers and close advisers left the event because they were not allowed to meet the duke and duchess.
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The report claimed the officials were not allowed to go near the royal couple due to “rigid security arrangements”.
An adviser to Prime Minister Imran Khan told BBC Urdu that the “very stupid” security measures were made by British officials.
Refusing to allow cabinet ministers to meet the royals was “disgraceful”, the unnamed adviser added.
The adviser said Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry would make a complaint to British authorities.
Kate Middleton and Prince William’s Pakistan Royal Tour
A minister told BBC Urdu that the guests were invited by the High Commission and claimed “the invitation received did not contain any details about the programme”.
Some ministers and bureaucrats reportedly refused to arrive by rickshaw because they consider themselves “VIPs”, so they took their own vehicles instead, journalist Hamid Mir reported.
Mirror Online has contacted the Foreign Office for comment.
The reception was aimed at highlighting Pakistani culture. Guests included Pakistani government officials, business leaders and music and film stars.
During the event, William acknowledged the troubled history of the country, which was under British colonial rule until India was split into two independent states in 1947.
The future king said: “For a country so young, Pakistan has endured many hardships, with countless lives lost to terror and hatred.
“Tonight I want to pay tribute to all those who have endured such sacrifice and helped to build the country that we see today.”
He told Pakistani officials the UK would be “a key partner and your friend”.
William and Kate are following in his mother Princess Diana’s footsteps during their five-day tour, which is coming to an end.
They were forced to spend the night in a hotel in Lahore on Thursday after their British military plane got caught up in an electrical thunderstorm.
The RAF Voyager was rocked by turbulence, according to a witness, and it touched down after two aborted landings.
A Reuters photographer described it as one of the most turbulent he had experienced in 25 years of regular flying.
William confirmed he and his wife Kate were fine following the drama, which forced a change to their tightly-choreographed itinerary.
The couple landed in Islamabad on Friday to continue their tour, although a visit to a military post in the west of the country was cancelled.
The Cambridges will still visit an army canine training school in Islamabad before departing from the country later in the day.