Royal couple arrives in reception on rickshaw

Islamabad: The royal couple arrived at the historic Pakistan Monument in Islamabad by auto rickshaw.

The Duke of Cambridge has spoken about the importance of young people learning about mental health during the first stop on the royal tour of Pakistan.

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge met boys and girls at a government-run college in Islamabad on the first full day of their visit.

The couple also met Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan, for lunch.

Later they arrived by auto rickshaw for a special reception hosted by the British High Commissioner to Pakistan.

Kensington Palace said organising the tour was “complex” because of political tensions in the region

The couple are the first royals to officially visit the Commonwealth country since the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visited the region in 2006.

As they left the Islamabad Model College for Girls, Prince William said to a teacher: “In the UK we’re trying to make sure mental health is part of education as well.”

He said students from disadvantaged backgrounds did not have a “stable health platform to build on” and that education in this area was important.

The royal couple regularly campaign about mental health awareness, alongside the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Last week the Every Mind Matters website crashed following the foursome’s appearance in a film to promote its initiative.

The prince’s tour of Pakistan follows in the footsteps of his parents. His father, the Prince of Wales, visited in 2006 and his mother Diana, Princess of Wales, went on several charity work trips there before her death in 1997.

One pupil at the visit to the college told Prince William she and her classmates were “big fans” of his mother.

“Oh, that’s very sweet of you. I was a big fan of my mother too,” the duke said.

“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,” he added.

The duke often speaks out about the importance of mental health services in the UK Prince William and Catherine have been hearing about girls’ education in Pakistan.

A local education officer, Mohammed Sohailkhan, told reporters the quality of education varied across Pakistan. “I can’t paint you an entirely rosy picture,” he said. “It does still fluctuate wildly, particularly in rural regions, where there has traditionally been cultural barriers towards this, notably in terms of sending girls away to college. “But these barriers are slowly being broken down.”