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Kate Middleton and Prince William Meet with Pakistan's PM Imran Khan — a Friend of Princess Diana

Simon Perry
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Kate Middleton and Prince William Meet with Pakistan's PM Imran Khan — a Friend of Princess Diana

Prince William and Kate Middleton held a poignant meeting in Pakistan on Tuesday.

The couple sat down with Prime Minister Imran Khan — an old friend of William’s late mom Princess Diana.

Kate wore an emerald green tunic by Catherine Walker over cream pants from Pakistani designer Maheen Khan for the outing. She accessorized her look with a printed green scarf by Satrangi and earrings by Pakistani jewelry designer Zeen (her new go-to!).

Khan — a cricketer-turned-politician — helped host Diana in Lahore, Pakistan, just months before she died in 1997. It was the second time in less than a year that Diana had traveled to Pakistan.

Khan has since said that he planned to act as a go-between to help Diana in her desire to marry Pakistani heart surgeon Dr. Hasnat Khan, whom she had been dating for about two years.

Prime Minister Imran Khan and Kate Middleton on Oct. 15, 2019, and Princess Diana and Imran Khan in 1996 | Shutterstock; Anwar Hussein/Getty Images
Kate Middleton | Tim Rooke/Shutterstock
Kate Middleton, Prince William and Prime Minister Imran Khan | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Diana was in love with Dr. Khan, but he was reluctant to commit to marriage because he was wary of the intense media attention. He broke off his relationship with Diana in July 1997, just one month before her death.

Princess Diana and Imran Khan in Lahore, Pakistan, in 1996 | Anwar Hussein/Getty
Kate Middleton, Prince William and Prime Minister Imran Khan | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

“She had been involved with him for two years and she had wanted to marry him. It was clear that she was very deeply in love with [him],” Imran Khan revealed in a documentary three years after the princess’s death. “She had decided he was the man she wanted to live with.”

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Dr. Hasnat Khan in 1997 | Antony Jones/UK Press via Getty

Khan — who was married to British socialite Jemima Goldsmith at the time — planned to come to London and act as a mediator, but fate intervened. “Before that could happen, that tragic accident took place,” Khan said in Diana: Her Last Love.

On both of her visits to Pakistan, Diana was taken to Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, which was set up by Imran Khan in memory of his mother.

“Diana went to Pakistan to help raise funds for Imran’s hospital, but both times she also went to meet his family secretly to discuss the possibility of marriage to Hasnat,” Jemima Goldsmith told Vanity Fair in 2013.

Imran Khan and Jemima Goldsmith sit with Princess Diana during her visit to Lahore in April 1996 | Anwar Hussein/WireImage

Khan became Prime Minister of Pakistan in July 2018 and “styles himself as a pious, populist, anti-poverty reformer,” the BBC reported.

During the royal couple’s meeting with Khan on Tuesday, William reminded him that when they first met when the prince was very young, the former cricketer had predicted he would become prime minister of his country one day.

William was at a family gathering with some of his late mother’s close friends when the cricketer announced his political ambition. Khan — who became Pakistan’s Prime Minister in July 2018 — said his road to prime minister was as difficult as his earlier sporting career.

Kate Middleton, Prince William and Imran Khan | Shutterstock

“When I went with my mother to see a test match my cousin was playing, and he scored a century, I told my mother I wanted to be a test cricketer,” Khan told William and Kate during their meeting. “I never realized how difficult it was to eventually become one. Similarly, when I told you that I wanted to succeed [as prime minister], I didn’t realize it would take me 22 years.”

William replied: “Sure. It’s not so easy.” Kate added: “You stuck with it.”

Imran Khan recalled the love and affection that existed among the people of Pakistan for the late Princess Diana because of her compassion as well as commitment to charitable causes, according to a brief following the event.

And the Prime Minister saluted the couple for raising awareness of the issues being faced by the modern world like climate change, inequality and education.

Imran Khan, Kate Middleton and Prince William | Shutterstock

William and Kate were also informed of some of the domestic priorities of Pakistan and of the support it’s giving for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

Earlier in the day, William and Kate had an official meeting with the President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi.