Duchess of Cambridge returns to children's orphanage in Pakistan after flight was grounded in storm
Oct. 20, 2019
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge returned to a children's orphanage during their royal tour to Pakistan at her request after their flight was grounded by a storm.
The royal couple had been forced to sleep overnight in the Punjab capital when their RAF Voyager plane was unable to return to Islamabad because of bad weather and turbulence.
As aides hastily redrew the tour schedule, cancelling a trip to the Khyber Pass, the Duchess said she wanted to return to the village where she had spent Thursday morning.
The 10-acre site established in 1977 is attached to a school and provides a home and family structure to over 150 orphaned young girls and boys ranging from babies to 18-year-olds.
After spending Thursday morning meeting children, the Duchess is understood to have been keen to return.
“I am passionate about giving young children the best possible start in life and this SOS village is doing just that,” she explained.
“Their community is built around family - and the best possible family you could imagine - where everyone comes together to nurture, love and protect the children in their care.”
On their return visit, the couple met some of the young “graduates”, who had been supported by the SOS Village and gone on to mentor some of its younger residents.
Saba Shahzadi, 28, said she came to SOS when she was eight and still lived there, acting as a mentor to the children, while working as a manager for Nestle in Pakistan. She told the couple: “I can’t even imagine what would have happened if I hadn’t found SOS.”
The royal couple were also given friendship bracelets from children - a blue one for the Duke, and pink for the Duchess.
It came as the Sunday Telegraph today publishes photos in the newspaper showcasing the Duchess' photography skills, as she took portraits of a family living in a remote mountain range.
During the chance encounter, the Duchess stopped the convoy to greet and take pictures of locals who waved.
The Duchess, a keen photographer, had spotted the family during her trip to a glacier in Chitral.
Speaking through an interpreter, she was invited into their hut for tea and asked the grandmother, mother and daughter about farming in a place where snow freezes for six months each year.
The family had no electricity, running water and during the winter cannot leave their homes.
The Duchess borrowed a camera from the couple’s official photographer and the family posed for her pictures. She later also took pictures in the Kalash village of Bumburet which the couple later visited, watching colourful scenes of dancing in the village square.
She later said: “It was fantastic to meet these people living in such a remote place.
“They were so hospitable, offering William and me a cup of tea.
“It was a very special moment, they had no idea who we were which gave us a chance to see a different side of Pakistan!
“We really enjoyed the day in the mountains and meeting so many of the local people in the Kalash village, a real privilege to see a different way of life.”