Prince William and Kate visit Pakistan's Badshahi Mosque

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The Duke and Duchess today visited one of the world’s biggest mosques on their five-day tour of Pakistan today.

Prince William and Kate - wearing a green shalwar kameez by Maheen Khan and headscarf - arrived to see the Badshahi Mosque, which is the most iconic Islamic site in Lahore, set in the heart of the walled city.

The royals will tour the mosque and courtyard, before joining a discussion with faith leaders to understand how they are promoting interfaith harmony within their communities.

William is following in the footsteps of both his parents with the visit. His mother Diana, Princess of Wales visited the site in 1991, and it was also included in the 2006 royal tour of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive for their visit to the Badshahi Mosque within the Walled City of Lahore today

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive for their visit to the Badshahi Mosque within the Walled City of Lahore today

The Duchess of Cambridge wears a green shalwar kameez by Maheen Khan

Kate visit the Badshahi Mosque today

The Duchess of Cambridge wears a green shalwar kameez by Maheen Khan and headscarf at the Badshahi Mosque today

The Duke and Duchess arrive for their visit to Badshahi Mosque in Lahore on the fourth day of the royal visit to Pakistan today

The Duke and Duchess arrive for their visit to Badshahi Mosque in Lahore on the fourth day of the royal visit to Pakistan today

Kate and William smile as they visit the mosque today

The Duchess of Cambridge arrives at the Badshahi Mosque today

William and Kate visit the Badshahi Mosque today, the most iconic Islamic site in Lahore, set in the heart of the walled city

The red carpet is laid out as media gather ahead of the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Badshahi Mosque today

The red carpet is laid out as media gather ahead of the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Badshahi Mosque today

Earlier, the Duke and Duchess showed off their cricketing skills while playing Pakistan's national sport today as they laughed while going into bat and bowl during their five-day tour of the country.

Their Royal Highnesses excitedly joined in a match with children who are participating in the British Council's DOSTI programme - Dosti means friendship in Urdu - at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore.

They met some of Pakistan's cricketing legends as they learned about the programme promoting sport as an integral part of child development, encouraging social integration, increased self-esteem and skills development.

William and the duchess both took turns hitting some soft balls in a game. There were cheers as the duke hit a six, while Kate was caught out twice after half a dozen balls - but they were deliberately dropped by the catchers.

The competitive couple often face off against each other in sporting events, including at a sailing regatta in the summer. After both taking a turn at the wicket, the couple high-fived the boys and girls they were playing with.

The couple also had the chance to tell a story to children with finger puppets today as they visited the SOS Children's Village, a centre for local orphans in the heart of the city which was established in 1977.  

The SOS Children's Village, which is attached to a school, provides a home and family structure to over 150 young girls and boys, and promotes the development of children into happy, confident and resilient adults.

William and Kate joined a birthday party for one of the children, which involved games, music and traditional Pakistani cakes, and the duchess said a few words, her first speech of the five-day tour.

The Duchess of Cambridge laughs as she plays cricket today during a visit to Lahore's National Cricket Academy

Prince William gets ready to bat in Lahore today

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge laugh as they play cricket today during their visit to Lahore's National Cricket Academy

The Duchess of Cambridge plays cricket during her visit to the National Cricket Academy in Lahore today

The Duchess of Cambridge plays cricket during her visit to the National Cricket Academy in Lahore today

Kate goes to bowl the ball during the visit to Lahore

Kate goes in to bat during the royal visit

Kate goes to bowl the ball during the visit to Lahore, before going in to bat at the National Cricket Academy today

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge show off their cricketing skills while playing Pakistan's national sport today

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge show off their cricketing skills while playing Pakistan's national sport today

Kate laughed and clapped her hands while going into bat and bowl

Kate plays cricket during the Pakistan tour today

Kate laughed and clapped her hands while going into bat and bowl during the royals' five-day tour of the country.

The Duchess of Cambridge reacts and laughs while playing cricket during her visit at the National Cricket Academy today

The Duchess of Cambridge reacts and laughs while playing cricket during her visit at the National Cricket Academy today

The royal couple excitedly joined in a match today with children participating in the British Council's DOSTI programme

William smiles as he prepares to bat today

The royal couple excitedly joined in a match today with children participating in the British Council's DOSTI programme

The Duke and Duchess pose for a group photo as they visit the National Cricket Academy in Lahore in Pakistan today

The Duke and Duchess pose for a group photo as they visit the National Cricket Academy in Lahore in Pakistan today

Kate plays cricket in Lahore today

The Duchess of Cambridge today learned about the programme promoting sport as an integral part of child development

The Duchess of Cambridge today learned about the programme promoting sport as an integral part of child development

Kate gives her first speech on Pakistan tour at SOS Children's Village 

The Duchess of Cambridge spoke today at the SOS Children's Village in Lahore, which was her first speech during her five-day royal tour with Prince William. 

She said: 'We've had such an amazing time walking around the village and learning all about your lives. We have been really moved and touched by what we have seen, and by the happy home you have made.

'I'm aware that many of you have experienced extremely difficult times in your lives. But it is inspiring to see how you have used your strength and positivity to help transform the lives of so many young children here.'

'Being here in Pakistan this week, William and I have seen on several occasions how family is at the heart of your culture.

'Parents, children, aunts, uncles, grandparents all play important roles – you have reminded us exactly what family means. You have shown us too that it is not simply a term that describes the relationship between blood relatives

'Instead it describes those special bonds we share with those who make us feel safe and supported. It is the quality of those relationships that matters.

'Earlier this year I talked about the fact that it takes a village to raise a child. The village we have seen here today is the best representation of that ideal that I could have possibly imagined.

'Together as a village you are transforming children's lives and providing them with strong foundations to support all their families.

'You have created a home, where children are given the love, protection, and support that will enable them to have a fairer chance in life.

'Here, women who were once vulnerable, now play the most vital of roles as mothers and it is most heartening to see that you are not doing this alone.'

They will later make a trip to the same cancer hospital visited by Diana in the year before her death. Earlier, the royals were given a red carpet welcome at Lahore Airport as they met the city's governor.

The SOS Children's Village provides a home and family structure to over 150 orphaned children from babies to age 18, and promotes the development of them into happy, confident and resilient adults.

Built over ten acres, it started out with 15 family homes, to which another four have since been added. Touchingly, one of the homes was donated by a man called Mohammed Afzal, who grew up in the village and is now a successful Hong Kong-based businessman.

He is one of a number of success stories, with children going on to become bankers, IT specialists, army officer, teachers, textile workers and government employees.

The original site, the first to be built in Pakistan, had no provision for education, with children sent to outside schools.

But it was quickly realised that the best possible eduction could only be offered by creating its own school on the site.

The couple began by sitting in on a musical story telling session and were given brightly-coloured finger puppets to play along with.

'It's very nice to be here,' said Wiliam, 'My name is William.... I am called William. How old you you?

After asking each of the children's ages, he asked one little boy: 'How old do you think I am? '

'Twenty one,' offered the child. 'I'll take twenty one, that's good! ' he laughed. 'I am a little bit older than that. Can you guess?

'I have my own children. A little boy called Louis and then there is Charlotte and them George, who is six. He's almost as old as you.'

The couple then went into a private meeting with seven children who live in one of the boarding houses and their 'house mother'.

Kate joins in a match today with children in the British Council's DOSTI programme, which encourages social integration

Kate joins in a match today with children in the British Council's DOSTI programme, which encourages social integration

The programme visited by the royals in Lahore today aims to improve the self-esteem and skills development of children

William watches after hitting the ball in Lahore today

The programme visited by the royals in Lahore today aims to improve the self-esteem and skills development of children

The Duchess of Cambridge hits the ball during a visit to the National Cricket Academy in Lahore today on the Pakistan tour

The Duchess of Cambridge hits the ball during a visit to the National Cricket Academy in Lahore today on the Pakistan tour

Kate applauds while playing cricket in Lahore today

Kate throws the ball while playing cricket

Kate laughs as she throws the ball while playing Pakistan's national sport at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore today

William hits the ball with his Pakistan Cricket Board bat during the royal visit to the National Cricket Academy today

William hits the ball with his Pakistan Cricket Board bat during the royal visit to the National Cricket Academy today

The Duchess of Cambridge throws the ball today as she shows off her cricketing skills while playing Pakistan's national sport

Kate is watched as she throws a ball during the cricket game today

The Duchess of Cambridge throws the ball today as she shows off her cricketing skills while playing Pakistan's national sport

Kate joins children participating in the British Council's Dosti programme for a match of Pakistan's national game today

Kate joins children participating in the British Council's Dosti programme for a match of Pakistan's national game today

William and Kate are at the event at the National Cricket Academy

Kate is also meeting international cricketing legends today

William and Kate are at the event at the National Cricket Academy where they will meet international cricketing legends today

Kate goes to bat the ball while joining in a match with children participating in the British Council's DOSTI programme today

Kate goes to bat the ball while joining in a match with children participating in the British Council's DOSTI programme today

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet people at today's cricket showcase at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore

Kate is greeted at the National Cricket Academy today

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet people at today's cricket showcase at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge go out to bat during a visit to see the British Council's DOSTI cricket programme today

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge go out to bat during a visit to see the British Council's DOSTI cricket programme today

Kate picks up the ball during the cricket match today

Kate smiles during the visit to Pakistan today

Kate picks up the ball during the cricket match at the National Cricket Academy in Pakistan today

The couple both took turns hitting some soft balls in a game of cricket at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore today

The couple both took turns hitting some soft balls in a game of cricket at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore today

Kate joined children in the British Council's Dosti programme today

The Dosti programme promotes sport as a part of child development

Kate joined children in the British Council's Dosti programme today, which promotes sport as a part of child development

William and Kate were introduced to a number of cricketing figures at the ground today after playing in the match

William and Kate were introduced to a number of cricketing figures at the ground today after playing in the match

There were cheers as the duke hit a six today

Kate was caught out twice after half a dozen balls today

There were cheers as the duke hit a six, while Kate was caught out twice after half a dozen balls today

After both taking a turn at the wicket, the couple high-fived the young boys and girls they were playing with on the pitch

After both taking a turn at the wicket, the couple high-fived the young boys and girls they were playing with on the pitch

Kate hits the ball during the cricket match today

The Dosti programme visited by Kate and William in Pakistan today promotes sport as a part of child development

The Dosti programme visited by Kate and William in Pakistan today promotes sport as a part of child development

The Duke of Cambridge goes out to bat during a visit to see the British Council's DOSTI cricket programme today

The Duke of Cambridge goes out to bat during a visit to see the British Council's DOSTI cricket programme today

The competitive couple often face off against each other in sporting events

Kate plays cricket in Pakistan today

The competitive couple often face off against each other in sporting events, and played cricket in Pakistan today

The Duke of Cambridge hits the ball during a visit to see the British Council's DOSTI cricket programme in Lahore today

The Duke of Cambridge hits the ball during a visit to see the British Council's DOSTI cricket programme in Lahore today

Afterwards they were invited to celebrate three of the children's birthdays - Iman, 12, Ibrahim, six, and eight-year-old Daniyal by singing a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday and helping them to cut a cake.

Kate began an address in a greeting in Urdu, before wishing the three youngsters a happy birthday. 

How Lahore has a turbulent history dating back nearly 800 years 

Lahore, Pakistan's second largest city and the capital of Punjab province, has a history of violence that dates back it being sacked by a Mongol army in 1241.

The same forces repeatedly attacked it until 1398 when it fell under the control of the Turkic conqueror Timur.

But in 1524 it was captured by the Mughal Bābur's troops, which began its golden age under the Mughal dynasty when it became a royal residence.

By the 18th century it was an Iranian empire outpost, before being associated with the rise of the Sikhs.

But following the death of ruler Ranjit Singh in 1839, it passed under British rule in 1849 and did not receive independence until 1947.

Its historic landmarks include the 36-acre Lahore Fort, the huge mosque at Badshahi and the Shalimar Garden.

Today more than six million people live in the financial hub, where major industries include textiles and rubber.

In her first speech of the tour the duchess said: 'We've had such an amazing time walking around the village and learning all about your lives.

'We have been really moved and touched by what we have seen, and by the happy home you have made.

'I'm aware that many of you have experienced extremely difficult times in your lives. But it is inspiring to see how you have used your strength and positivity to help transform the lives of so many young children here.'

She continued: 'Being here in Pakistan this week, William and I have seen on several occasions how family is at the heart of your culture.

'Parents, children, aunts, uncles, grandparents all play important roles – you have reminded us exactly what family means. You have shown us too that it is not simply a term that describes the relationship between blood relatives

'Instead it describes those special bonds we share with those who make us feel safe and supported. It is the quality of those relationships that matters.

'Earlier this year I talked about the fact that it takes a village to raise a child. The village we have seen here today is the best representation of that ideal that I could have possibly imagined.

'Together

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