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Comment 10 SEPTEMBER 2012

William and Kate embark on adventure of a lifetime in Singapore


While Prince William has travelled all around the world in his role in his role as future King, his wife, by her own admission, has some way to go to catch up in the globetrotting stakes.

At the weekend the Duchess of Cambridge was spotted shopping in one of her favourite locations, the King's Road - perhaps making last-minute preparations for their South East Asia and Pacific tour.


Duchess Cambridge

And no wonder, because the itinerary reads like an exotic jaunt to some of the world's most magical places.

The steel and concrete skyscrapers of Singapore and Kuala Lumpur await. William and Kate will also trek through the dense jungle of Borneo and enjoy a warm welcome in the islands of the South Pacific.

But the sightseeing will take a back seat to the couple's goal of promoting Britain and celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

For Kate it will be particularly challenging. As the most-photgraphed woman in the world she'll have cameras trained on her every move and wardrobe change.


Duchess Cambridge

As well as organising the perfect outfits for garden parties, state dinners and encounters with excited well wishers, the Duchess plans to make her first speech abroad.

Reflecting one of her patronages on home soil, Kate will give a short address speech at Hospis Malaysia, just as she did when opening a new centre for East Anglia Children's Hospices (EACH), in Ipswich earlier this year.

"The Duchess wanted to establish contacts between her charities here and charities overseas, and she hopes that a legacy of this visit will be to get a dialogue going between EACH and Hospis Malaysia," her private secretary, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, said.

Just like his wife, William's tour highlight is strongly influenced by a cause close to his heart. Because of his interest in conservation the couple are due to visit a protected virgin rainforest in Borneo on Saturday.



According to their top aide, William and Kate are "looking forward immensely" to experiencing the delicate eco system at first hand and they may even come eye-to-eye with native orang-utans. 

Before this, the pair will share a poignant moment in Singapore's Botanical Gardens, where husband and wife will have orchids named after them. 

It will be emotional because William will see a white orchid named after his mother Diana, Princess of Wales for the first time. 



The white Dendrobium Memoria Princess Diana orchid was named in the Princess's honour in September 1997, the month after she died.

As well as experiencing the natural beauty of the region, the couple will witness a kaleidoscope of different cultural traditions, making it a truly memorable trip.

In the Solomon Islands, the Duke and Duchess will be met at Honiara airport by warriors bearing garlands of flowers.

Later, they will dine under the open, balmy skies in a traditional island feast before moving on to their grand finale in the tiny Pacific haven of Tuvalu. 



The island's traditional reception for visiting dignitaries is to carry them at shoulder height in canoes, a welcome the Queen received in 1982.

Being swept into the sunset will be a fitting end for a tour that William and Kate will remember fondly for the rest of their days together.

Tour Highlights 


    Orchid naming ceremony at Singapore Botanic Gardens

    State dinner with the President of Singapore at his official residence, the Istana

    Climbing the artificial mountain at the Gardens by the Bay

    Cultural performance in Queenstown showcasing the heritage of Singapore's Chinese, Malay and Indian communities


    The Duchess gives her first speech on foreign soil during a visit to Hospis Malaysia

    Dinner with Malaysian King Abdul Halim at the Istana Negara Palace

    Diamond Jubilee tea party hosted by the British High Commissioner

    Trekking in the rainforests of Sabah, Malaysia

    Solomon Islands

    Greeting at  Honiara airport by native warriors in traditional dress

    Open-air island feast

    Cultural performance in the village of Honiara


    The Duke and Duchess will be carried off their aircraft in a traditional welcoming ceremony

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