KATE Middleton has followed in Princess Diana’s footsteps today in meeting Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The former cricketing legend turned politician was a close friend of Kate’s mum-in-law Diana, and even met Prince William when he was just 11 years old.
At the time, Imran told a young Prince William that he would one day become Pakistan’s Prime Minister, and the royal is said to have not believed him.
Before Princess Diana died in 1997, Pakistan and Imran played an unexpectedly prominent role in her life – making the Cambridge’s five-day royal tour of the country this week particularly poignant.
Imran was the husband of Diana’s close confidante Jemima Khan, and Di looked up to her pal’s mum, Annabel Goldsmith, like a mother figure.
After her high-profile divorce from Prince Charles in 1996, Diana spent her last two years of her life in a relationship with British-Pakistani heart surgeon Dr Hasnat Khan, who she met in London.
The couple travelled to Pakistan three times together, with Diana meeting Dr Khan’s mum and speaking to Jemima on choosing a similar partner.
Diana is also said to have considered the possibility of making Pakistan her new home, if the relationship was successful.
Diana, along with the help of Jemima, even helped to raise money for a children’s cancer hospital in the Pakistani city of Lahore.
The relationship with Diana and Dr Khan is said to have ended weeks before her death in Paris, and Jemima and Imran’s marriage broke down amicably in 2004 after they had two sons, Sulaiman and Kasim.
Today, William and Kate visited Imran, before going to a school in Islamabad to highlight the importance of education for girls and young women.
A pupil told Prince William that the schoolgirls were “big fans of your mother”, and he replied: “You were, really? Oh that’s very sweet of you. I was a big fan of my mother too.
“She came here three times. I was very small. This is my first time and it is very nice to be here and meet you all.”
William and Kate, in a royal blue shalwar kameez by local designer Maher Khan, are keen to champion the importance of quality education, and highlight how girls benefit from pursuing higher education and professional careers.
Yesterday, Kate and Wills were given flowers by local children in traditional dress when they stepped off the British Government's RAF Voyager plane.
The duchess looked elegant in an aqua shalwar kameez – a traditional Pakistani outfit comprised of a long dress and trousers – by British designer Catherine Walker.
Kate's combination was also highly reminiscent of the outfit Princess Diana wore when she visited Pakistan in 1996.
The couple's visit is the first official one to be made by the royal family to the country since Prince Charles and Camilla visited back in 2006.
In their public announcement of the trip, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said their visit will span more than 1,000km of the hardline country.
In other royal news, we told you a tell-all Meghan Markle biography is set to be written by the man who dubbed Prince Charles the ‘Rebel Prince’.
We also revealed Kate Middleton went to family therapy sessions to help her brother James as he battled depression.
And we told you the Queen ‘is a massive JLS fan and loved watching them on TV while eating her dinner’, JB Gill reveals.
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