"Her Urdu was very good!" a young girl celebrating her birthday said of Kate Middleton's attempt at the local language

By Stephanie Petit and Simon Perry
October 17, 2019 08:47 AM
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Kate Middleton and Prince William are learning a lot during their royal visit of Pakistan, including the language!

The royal couple were very special guests at a birthday party for three young children at the SOS Children’s Village, a charity in Lahore that provides a home and family structure to over 150 boys and girls, on Thursday, and Kate took the microphone for her first speech of their five-day tour. The mom of three even sprinkled in some Urdu!

“Assalam O Alaikum,” she said. “Iman, Ibrahim aur Daniyal apni salgirah pur bulanay ka bohat shukria.” (Translation: “Hello. Peace be upon you. Iman, Ibrahim and Daniyal, thank you for inviting us to your birthday celebration.”)

Kate told those gathered that she and William “have been really moved and touched” by getting to know about the children and their village.

“I’m aware that many of you have experienced extremely difficult times in your lives,” she said. “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.”

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Kate Middleton and Prince William
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The Duchess of Cambridge, 37, also noted how they saw that family is “at the heart” of the Pakistani culture.

“Parents, children, aunts, uncles, grandparents all play important roles — you have reminded us exactly what family means,” she continued. “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.”

Kate Middleton and Prince William
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They celebrated the birthdays of three children — Iman, 12, Ibrahim, 6, and Daniyal, 8 — with games, music and traditional Pakistani cakes. And of course, no birthday is complete without singing “Happy Birthday.”

Iman, who has been at the village for three years, told reporters, “It was very nice to meet the Prince and Princess. I am so happy and thankful to have them to celebrate my birthday.”

She added, “Her Urdu was very good!”

Kate Middleton and Prince William
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Kate and William continued the fun at their next stop, when they visited the National Cricket Academy to learn about the country’s national sport. The royal parents even played in a game with children who are part of the British Council’s DOSTI program (dosti means “friendship” in Urdu) to promote social skills and self-esteem.

Kate Middleton
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Prince William
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The couple’s visit to the bustling city of Lahore, known widely across Pakistan as the country’s city of culture, will showcase the best of Pakistani culture, from its unique architecture, its commitment to charity and of course, its love of cricket.