VIDEO: Prince William, Kate enjoy their interaction with Kalash community - GulfToday

VIDEO: Prince William, Kate enjoy their interaction with Kalash community


Britain's Prince William and Catherine visit a settlement of the Kalash people in Chitral, Pakistan. Reuters

Gulf Today web team

Prince William and his wife Kate flew near the Afghan border to visit a remote Hindu Kush glacier on Wednesday, after a morning spent trying on feathered traditional caps and luxurious shawls in Pakistan's mountainous north.

Prince William Kate visit school before meeting Pakistan PM

The British royals travelled by helicopter to a glacier in Broghil Valley National Park to see the effects of climate change in one of the most glaciated areas of the world.

Residents of the region have been sounding the alarm over its melting glaciers, which caused devastating floods in 2015 that left thousands of families camping in the open just as another cold winter approached.

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives in Chitral, Pakistan. Samir Hussein/Reuters

The Duke of Cambridge called the glacial melt an "impending catastrophe" in a speech delivered at a glittering reception in Islamabad late Tuesday.

Prince William Kate reach Islamabad on 5-day visit

The couple met with environmental experts to discuss the melting before going on to spend their afternoon with the Kalash -- an ancient, polytheistic tribe who celebrate their gods with music and dance.

The verdant, plunging valleys of the northern Chitral district have long attracted tourists for their natural beauty and their brush with legend as the home of the Kalash, who claim ancestry from Alexander the Great.

Britain's Catherine is greeted during a visit at a settlement of the Kalash people in Chitral, Pakistan. Reuters

Activists have campaigned to preserve the traditions of the diminishing tribe, now estimated to number around only 3,000 people, making them Pakistan's smallest religious minority.

'Complex' tour

Earlier, during a refuelling stop on the way to the glacier, the Duke and Duchess tried on a Chitrali cap given a touch of luxury with a peacock feather, which local media said was a gift to them from residents.

The flat, woollen hats, also known as "pakols", are popular in northern Pakistan and throughout Afghanistan, though feather decorations are usually reserved for special occasions.

They also tried on chapans, long bulky embroidered coats popular in Central Asia; as well as a lush woollen shawl for Kate.

Britain’s Prince William and Catherine arrive in Chitral, Pakistan. Samir Hussein/ Reuters

Kensington Palace has called the five-day trip, which ends Friday, their "most complex" tour to date.

The couple had lunch Tuesday with Prime Minister Imran Khan -- an old friend of William's mother, the late Princess Diana.

They also signalled their support for women's education by visiting a girls school in Islamabad, and helped local children set a leopard camera trap in the Margalla Hills, the Himalayan foothills just outside Islamabad.

Prince William and Kate look at an auto-rickshaw driver as they arrive to attend a reception in Islamabad. AFP

Later, they arrived in a brightly painted rickshaw -- usually banned in Islamabad -- for the evening reception at the Pakistan National Monument.

Security is extremely tight for the trip, during which the couple is also set to visit Pakistan's second-largest city Lahore, once the capital of the Mughal Empire, as well as the region near the border with Afghanistan in the west.

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