This week the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are parting ways for respective duties.
Having undertaken a Royal Tour of Pakistan as a couple in October, Kate now remains behind with the couple’s children, and will join other Royal Family members at a NATO reception tomorrow, as Prince William undertakes a trip to Kuwait and Oman alone.
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In the midst of a turbulent time for the Royal Family, with attention largely focused on Prince Andrew’s involvement in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, the tour places the emphasis back on royals as figures of public service.
Indeed, this is a concept that seems all the more pertinent now that Prince Andrew has stepped down from official duties for the foreseeable future.
The four-day tour officially began on Sunday 1 December, and will conclude on Wednesday 4 December. William is undertaking the visit at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, in a gesture that is intended to pay tribute to the ‘historic ties Britain shares with Kuwait and Oman’, according to Kensington Palace.
The trip coincides with the 120th anniversary of the Treaty of Friendship between the UK and Kuwait, signed in 1899, which the royal will be marking on his visit. Kensington Palace emphasised that the Duke seeks to ‘highlight strong links and cooperation in many areas, including education, the environment, and defence.’
The itinerary is set to include visits to ‘the modern capitals of Kuwait City and Muscat, to the vast Kuwaiti deserts and stunning wadis in the Omani mountains’ in order to ‘take in both countries’ unique cultures, their beautiful landscapes, and diverse communities.’
On arrival on Sunday, William was received at Kuwait International Airport by Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the State of Kuwait, His Excellency Mr. Michael Davenport, and met with Kuwaiti officials at a reception last night.
The Duke began the first full day of his tour with a trip to the Jahra Nature Reserve. According to the @kensingtonroyal Instagram account, there William ‘learned more about Kuwait’s ambitious plans to protect its natural environment from human and environmental challenges.’
Although the trip is a sensitive diplomatic mission, the Duke, like other young royals, is also a keen environmental activist. His visit to the Gulf region will therefore shine a light on the natural world and the need for its preservation. The Instagram post highlighted that ‘Kuwait is working to tackle the global issue of plastic pollution through a combination of raising public awareness, recycling, education and organising beach cleans’, with William participating in ‘a beach clean at the reserve.’
Another key tenet of the royal’s work is his advocacy for youth causes, and the visit will also focus on meeting with organisations that seek to educate, empower and create opportunities for young people
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