Exclusive by Max Foster, David Wilkinson and Lauren Said-Moorhouse, CNN
Published Sunday, October 20, 2019 8:47AM EDT
The final time he met Prince William, Imran Khan was a sporting hero who instructed the younger royal about his hope of successful political workplace.
Twenty-three years on, the previous cricket star-turned-prime minister has made good on his promise, welcoming the Duke of Cambridge to his official residence in Islamabad throughout a royal tour of Pakistan this week.
While the official five-day go to was designed to bolster U.K.-Pakistan relations, the assembly over lunch inevitably triggered recollections of William’s mom, Diana, Princess of Wales.
“[The] last time I met him he was a boy, along with Prince Harry, and they came with their mother to my ex-mother-in-law’s house,” Khan instructed CNN in an unique interview on Tuesday.
Diana was near the household of Khan’s ex-wife, Jemima Goldsmith. Diana usually took her younger sons to play within the backyard on the Goldsmith household house in leafy Richmond Park, southwest London. Jemima’s mom, Annabel Goldsmith, was one thing of a mother-figure to Diana.
The late princess visited Pakistan on a number of events within the years earlier than her demise — even teaming up along with her buddies in 1996 to assist increase funds for a hospital undertaking Khan was engaged on.
In the many years since, that enterprise has turn out to be the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre — which grew to become one other cease on the Pakistan royal tour on Thursday.
Khan instructed CNN that in their lunch assembly he needed to make sure William understood the affect of his mom’s work within the nation.
“I was telling Prince William that I was in the outbacks — my constituency, which is Mianwali … I was touring my constituency when I heard of the accident,” revealed Khan, referring to the 1997 Paris automobile crash wherein Diana died.
“And I can tell you, that the impact it had on the people shocked me.”
He continued that he “wouldn’t have even thought they would have heard of Princess Di” and recalled his amazement that her work had penetrated “even in these rural constituencies.”
Related: Duchess of Cambridge enthuses over ‘improbable’ Pakistan in first ever TV information interview
Several engagements throughout the Pakistan royal tour have evoked comparisons to Princess Diana, be it taking part in with younger sufferers on the most cancers hospital or visiting the identical cultural websites just like the Badshahi Mosque.
For William, that can also be the place the similarities finish. While Diana clearly continues to be an inspiration to each him and his brother, Harry, the duke has additionally used the tour to indicate a glimpse of the kind of sovereign he in the future hopes to turn out to be.
Regardless, the sentiment provided from Khan will little question be a sort reminder of his mom’s unimaginable legacy.
When requested how William responded, the Prime Minister stated: “I think it was important for him to know how much she was loved in this country.”