The Duke of Cambridge has spoken about the importance of young people learning about mental health during the first stop on the royal tour of Pakistan.

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge met boys and girls at a government-run college in Islamabad on the first full day of their visit.

As he left the school, the prince said pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds do not have a “stable health platform”.

The couple also met Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan for lunch.

Kensington Palace said political tensions and security concerns meant the tour was the couple’s “most complex” to date.

It was organised at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office,

The duke and duchess began their five-day tour on Monday evening when they flew into the Pakistani Air Force base in Rawalpindi.

The couple are the first royals to officially visit the Commonwealth country since the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visited the region in 2006.

As the duke and duchess left the Islamabad Model College for Girls on Tuesday, Prince William said to a teacher: “In the UK we’re trying to make sure mental health is part of education as well.”
He said students from disadvantaged backgrounds did not have a “stable health platform to build on” and that education in this area was important.

The royal couple, alongside the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, regularly campaign about raising mental health awareness. Last week the Every Mind Matters website crashed following the foursome’s appearance in a film to promote the mental health support initiative.

Prince William and Catherine’s visit to the school in Islamabad involved them learning about girls’ education in Pakistan.

A local education officer, Mohammed Sohailkhan, told reporters the quality of education varies across Pakistan.

“I can’t paint you an entirely rosy picture,” he said. “It does still fluctuate wildly, particularly in rural regions, where there has traditionally been cultural barriers towards this, notably in terms of sending girls away to college.

“But these barriers are slowly being broken down,” he added.

The British High Commission said UK aid in Pakistan has helped more than five-and-a-half million girls to receive a quality education since 2011.

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