kate middleton tiara cancer patient

Kate Middleton dons tiara for special tea with young cancer patient in Pakistan

The royal couple visited Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital on Thursday

Sharnaz Shahid

After a busy morning travelling across Lahore, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge paid a poignant visit to the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre on Thursday afternoon. This is the same hospital which was visited by Prince William's late mother, Princess Diana, in 1996. Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital is a state-of-the-art cancer facility located in the centre of Lahore, and was set up by Pakistan's Prime Minister, Imran Khan.

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The Duke and Duchess visited the children's ward to spend time with patients undergoing treatment at the hospital, and spoke to a number of their families. The royal couple were seen talking to seven-year-old Wafia Rehmani, who wore a matching toy tiara with the Duchess as she hosted a toy tea party on her bed. Wafia, from Afghanistan, has a kidney tumour. She told the royals that she wants to be a doctor when she is older and even showed them her toy medical set.

READ: Prince William poignantly remembers Princess Diana in Pakistan

Diana was pictured cuddling a blind, eight-year-old girl, who was being treated for a tumour at a fundraising event for the hospital in February 1996. In May the following year – months before her tragic death – she returned to tour the hospital again and was again pictured cuddling and comforting sick children. Diana - who was good friends with Imran Khan's then wife, Jemima Khan - met some of the most severely ill children and helped to raise funds for the hospital. This visit is just another reminder for William of his mother's legacy.

Prince William and Kate speak to a patient at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital

On Wednesday, Kate followed in Diana's footsteps when she was presented with a traditional Chitrali hat in the Hindu Kush mountains. The royal was given the traditional beret, along with a white coat, during a visit to the remote Chitral Valley on the royal tour. Prince William was also presented with a book commemorating his late mother's visit to the same place 28 years ago, when she also received an almost identical feathered cap and white coat.

Princess Diana with Imran Khan in 1996

Earlier on in the week, the royals visited a government-run school in the capital, Islamabad, where they met a group of teenagers and discussed their aspirations from when they were younger. During one conversation, William recalled his love for his mother after 14-year-old Aima told him that she wanted to be a brain surgeon.

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"Actually I changed a lot as I got older, but I always wanted to learn to fly," explained the British royal. "I was flying for a while actually. I love flying, I feel very free (and) I like learning a skill, I enjoy that. I can relate the science of what you do." The same student then told William that the students were "big fans of your mother". To which, William replied: "Oh, that's very sweet of you. I was a big fan of my mother too. She came here three times. I was very small. This is my first time and it is very nice to be here and meet you all."

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