Bumburate: After a morning spent trying on feathered traditional caps and luxurious shawls in Pakistan’s mountainous north, the royals Prince William and his wife Kate flew near the Afghan border to visit a remote Hindu Kush glacier on Wednesday.
The British royals travelled by helicopter to National Park a glacier in Broghil Valley to see the effects of climate change in one of the most glaciated areas of the world.
Dwellers of the region have been sounding the alarm over its melting glaciers, which caused overwhelming floods in 2015 that left thousands of families camping in the open just as another cold winter approached.
The Duke of Cambridge called the glacial melt an “impending catastrophe” in a speech delivered at a glittering reception in Islamabad late Tuesday.
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.
The royal couple met with environmental experts to discuss the melting before going on to spend their afternoon with the Kalash.
It has campaigned by Activists to preserve the traditions of the diminishing tribe, now estimated to number around only 3,000 people, making them Pakistan´s smallest religious minority.
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, earlier, during a refueling stop on the way to the glacier.
The plane, woolen hats, also identified as “pakols”, are popular in northern Pakistan and throughout Afghanistan, though feather decorations are typically reserved for special occasions.
They also tried on chapans, long bulky embroidered coats popular in Central Asia; as well as a lush woolen shawl for one of royal guests Kate.
The couple had lunch Tuesday with Prime Minister Imran Khan — an old friend of William’s mother, the late — Princess Diana.
Kensington Palace has called the five-day trip, which ends Friday, their “most complex” tour to date.
They also signaled their support for women’s education by visiting a girl’s school in Islamabad; and aided local children set a leopard camera trap in the Margalla Hills, the Himalayan foothills just outside Islamabad.
Later on they arrived in a brightly painted rickshaw for the evening reception at the Pakistan National Monument.
Security measures are extremely tight for the royal 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.