KATE, the Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William have been warned not to make the same diplomatic gaffes on future international royal tours that the Queen and Prince Philip did on their 1996 visit to India and Pakistan, which caused “fury”.
Prince William and Kate have increasingly been “entrusted” with “sensitive trips” abroad, according to royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams. Mr Fitzwilliams spoke to Express.co.uk, praising the Cambridges for their success so far, including official visits to Kuwait and Pakistan. However, looking ahead to the rest of the year, he also issued a warning for the royal couple, using the example of tour the Queen did in the past which was marred by a series of diplomatic gaffes.
Mr Fitzwilliams told Express.co.uk: “The royal tours are wonderful for projecting soft power. It’s important also to project goodwill.
“What you don’t want is a repeat of what happened in 1997 when the Queen went to Pakistan and also India.
“The then Foreign Secretary Robin Cook offered Britain’s help in brokering a solution for Kashmir, or words to that effect.
“The Queen also visited Amritsar, where, in 1919, British troops gunned down 379 unarmed protesters.”
He continued: “Despite requests, she did not apologise for the outrage.
“Phillip didn’t help as well, apparently saying that he thought the number of those killed had been ‘exaggerated’
“All of this caused fury in India, and as you see, there’s a diplomatic minefield.
“That royal tour did not go well so there is something to be learnt for the younger royals.”
The royal commentator noted that Kate and William had a “very good year” last year “in contrast” to some of the members of the Royal Family.
He told Express.co.uk: “There’s no about the Cambridges star is rising and they’ll be doing more and more.
“They’ve had a very good year in contrast to some of the members of the Royal Family.”
He added: “Look at the trip to Pakistan following on from two years ago when William went to Israel and the occupied territories.
“These are the sort of sensitive trips that are being entrusted to them.
“Other achievements like her aptitude for photography and her interests in children’s affairs, the garden she created in the Chelsea Flower Show.
“There’s no doubt that the Cambridges have handled things well.
“They’ve also shown that they’re very responsive to a sense of public relations.”