Before their hugely successful tour to Pakistan came to a close, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made a visit to the Army Canine Centre in Islamabad, Pakistan on Friday.
Due to an electrical storm on Thursday evening, William and Catherine’s plane had to return to Lahore, where they had spent the day. This unfortunately meant that the royal couple had to cancel their first engagement for Friday morning where they would have visited the Khyber Pass, a mountainous area that borders Afghanistan.
Instead, they flew back to Islamabad in the morning for their last engagement of the tour. Islamabad’s Army Canine Centre is modelled after the UK’s Defence Animal Training Centre at Melton Mowbray. For over 10 years, the UK has been providing training and advice to the Pakistan Armed Forces by supporting the Pakistan Counter Improvised Explosive Device Programme. Currently the organisation is helping to not only breed the dogs used but train them to detect and identify explosive materials as well.
Upon arrival, the couple met with the programme’s dog trainers and with security experts that work alongside them. The success of the programme has been nothing short of impressive and incredible. In the course of the last three years, over 700 homemade bombs have been recovered and 19 tons of explosives have been detected.
Known for their great love of animals, Prince William and Duchess Catherine were all smiles as they took part in helping the puppies through an agility training exercise. For the training session, the Duke and Duchess worked with two adorable golden Labrador puppies named Salto and Sky. Luckily for the pups, this event was not all work and no play! William and Catherine enjoyed a bit of time lavishing some attention on and playing with the puppies.
As they played outside, William said of their own dog: “I think Lupo would be very put out!”
The Duke of Cambridge stressed the importance of security links between the UK and Pakistan as he and the Duchess of Cambridge visited a canine training centre in Islamabad on the last day of their five-day Pakistan tour.#RoyalVisitPakistan #Pakistan #Royals pic.twitter.com/OzKgRI59aJ
— The Royal Family Channel (@RoyalFamilyITNP) October 18, 2019
While discussing the events of the previous evening, Catherine stated that she was “hugely grateful to everyone” that played a part in the successful landing of the RAF Voyager aircraft that the couple was travelling on. She added: “We were looked after so wonderfully by the RAF who did a great job.”
Prince William expressed his feelings on the UK’s relationship that it shares with Pakistan. He said: “I think it’s really important that everyone back home in the UK realises that we have a far-ranging, far-reaching projection of what we are doing and we’re involved with the Pakistanis for a very good reason. It will actually keep people safe back in the UK. What happens in Pakistan directly correlates to what happens back in the UK.”
'It was pretty bumpy up there, but we were looked after so wonderfully by the RAF, you know, they did a great job liaising with everyone.'
— ITV News (@itvnews) October 18, 2019
With this last engagement in the books, the Cambridges close the last chapter of their successful first tour of Pakistan and are now home with their children.