The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
According to St. James’s Palace, the forthcoming Cambridge tour promises to be an excellent one.
Their visit to southeast Asia and the South Pacific are part of the continuing celebrations of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
The Duchess of Cambridge will make her first speech abroad, there will be official dinners (tiara time!), and William will be carrying out a visit that his mother was scheduled to make fifteen years ago.
Diana, Princess of Wales, was scheduled to see the new orchid species that was named in her honor. Sadly, she never got the chance. Now it is Prince William who will visit the botanical garden in Singapore to see the beautiful bloom. He and his wife will also have an orchid named in their honor, as well.
The Duke and Duchess will visit Singapore and Malaysia on behalf of the British Government as guests of the two host countries. While in the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu, Their Royal Highnesses visit on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen, who is Sovereign of these two Commonwealth nations.
According to the announcement by Prince William’s private secretary, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, the Cambridges’ schedule is as follows:
• The Duke and Duchess arrive in Singapore on Tuesday, September 11th. They will meet with members of the government of Singapore, and then travel to the Singapore Botanic Gardens where they will take part in a ceremony during which an orchid is to be named in their honor, as well as view an orchid named for Diana, Princess of Wales.
• The Cambridges will attend a State Dinner that evening hosted by The President of Singapore at his official residence, the Istana. The Duke of Cambridge will give an address on behalf of the Queen at the dinner.
• On Wednesday, September 12th, the Cambridges will carry out their first engagement at the Gardens by the Bay. The Gardens are an extraordinary feat of architecture and engineering with strong British involvement in their creation.
• After a tree-planting ceremony, Their Royal Highnesses will travel to the Rolls Royce aircraft engine factory in Seletar, Singapore. The Duke and Duchess will be asked to unveil the first operational engine produced by the factory. The Duke will make a speech to staff at the official unveiling of the engine.
• That afternoon, Their Royal Highnesses will visit Strathmore Green, a precinct in Queenstown. The area was chosen as it was named after the present Queen. On arrival at the precinct, the couple will view a cultural performance that will showcase the three main cultures of Singapore: the Chinese, Malay and Indian communities.
• The Royal couple will then travel to the Rainbow Centre in Queenstown, a school and community centre for children with special needs. The Duke will spend time with children participating in a Physical Education session and The Duchess will meet children engaged in arts therapy classes. The Rainbow Centre celebrates its 20th anniversary this year as a school for special education.
• That evening, The Duke and Duchess will attend a reception at Eden Hall, the British High Commissioner’s residence, for prominent Singaporeans and members of the British and international expatriate communities.
• On Thursday, September 13th, Their Royal Highnesses will begin the day at Kranji Commonwealth War Cemetery. The Duke and Duchess will lay a wreath made of local flowers at the War Memorial before meeting veterans and serving military from Singapore, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.
(September 13th)The Royal couple travel on a scheduled flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where they will be met at the International airport by representatives of the Malaysian Government and the British High Commissioner.
• Their Royal Highnesses’ first engagement is a lunch hosted by the Prime Minister at his official residence. The lunch will include a musical performance by young people supported by a charity of which the Prime Minister’s wife is Patron.
• Following the lunch, the couple visit Hospis Malaysia, which is a leading hospice located in central Kuala Lumpur. The Duchess is Patron of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices and Her Royal Highness is keen to use her visit to learn more about how the hospice movement works in Malaysia. The Duchess of Cambridge will give a short speech at the end of this visit to patients and staff, drawing on her own growing experience of the hospice movement in the United Kingdom.
• That evening, The Duke and Duchess will attend an official dinner given by His Majesty The Agong at his official residence, the Istana Negara, in Kuala Lumpur.
• On Friday, September 14th, Their Royal Highnesses will attend a cultural event in a Kuala Lumpur Park. Following the cultural event, the Duke and Duchess will be guests of honor at a lunch given by the British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce. Trade links between the United Kingdom and Malaysia are historically strong, and growing, and The Duke will give a speech at the lunch to the assembled businessmen and women in which he will underline the importance of the relationship both for British and Malaysian prosperity and for cultural ties between the two nations.
• Following the lunch, The Duke and Duchess will attend a Diamond Jubilee tea party hosted by the British High Commissioner and his wife at their residence – hopefully, weather-permitting, in their garden. The guests for the traditionally British tea party will be drawn from across civil society and will be chance for the High Commission to deepen the existing strong bonds of friendship. At the occasion, The Duke and Duchess will be invited to sample a new tea created by a leading Malaysian tea manufacturer, BOH, in honor of the Diamond Jubilee.
• After the tea party, Their Royal Highnesses leave Kuala Lumpur and depart for Sabah, Malaysia. Sabah is one of the two States that makes up the Malaysian portion of Borneo. On arrival in Sabah, Their Royal Highnesses will attend a reception hosted by the Sabah State Government in their honor.
The Duke and Duchess’s primary reason for wishing to visit Sabah owes itself to The Duke’s longstanding interest in conservation. Sabah is home to some of the last remaining areas of primary tropical rainforest in South East Asia, and the Royal Society – of which The Duke is a Fellow – run a world-leading research station at a place called Danum Valley, deep in the rainforest.
• On Saturday, September 15th, The Duke and Duchess will travel by Government helicopter to Danum Valley where they will have a chance to meet Royal Society scientists and volunteers, and to experience some of the jungle for themselves through an opportunity to be lifted up in to a tree to view the jungle canopy and to go on a jungle walk. Following the visit to the research station, Their Royal Highnesses will retire to a nearby lodge for a private lunch.
Solomon Islands –
• On Sunday, September 16th, The Duke and Duchess travel to Honiara, in Solomon Islands, where they will represent The Queen on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee. The Duke and Duchess will be formally welcomed by The Queen’s representative, The Governor-General and his wife, and they will review a Guard of honor at the airport.
• Their Royal Highnesses will then make their way in an open-topped vehicle to the Church of Melanesia cathedral in Honiara, where they will attend a service of thanksgiving for the life of dedicated service of The Queen.
• Later that evening, The Duke and Duchess will attend an Island Feast, given in the traditional manner outdoors, hosted by the Governor-General at his official residence. The Duke will use the occasion to pass on Her Majesty’s warm wishes in a speech. Shortly before the State Dinner, the Duke and Duchess will pay a private call on the Governor-General and his wife.
• On Monday, September 17th, Their Royal Highnesses will begin the day with a call on Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet at the Prime Minister’s Office.
• Following the meeting, The Duke and Duchess will travel to a cultural village in Honiara, where the Royal couple will view performances by the nine provinces that make up the nation.
• After the visit to the cultural village, The Duke will briefly attend a conference given for young leaders from the Commonwealth nations in the Pacific, where he will be invited to give some short remarks. The Duke will subsequently award six Duke of Edinburgh gold awards to Solomon Islanders and one awardee from Vanuatu. Meanwhile, The Duchess will attend a reception for Solomon Island women’s groups.
• The couple will then re-join each other to travel together to a memorial in Honiara to the Coast Watchers, who were courageous Allied and Commonwealth soldiers and Solomon Islanders who hid along the coast of the nation’s 1,000 islands to pass on intelligence about Japanese military movements during the Second World War. Their contribution and sacrifice made a huge difference to the success of the Allies’ war effort in the South Pacific. The Duke and Duchess will lay a wreath before meeting veterans of the Coast Watch.
• They will open formally Commonwealth Street, on which the Memorial stands, which is close to Point Cruz, where the Spanish explorer Mendana landed in 1568.
• Following their visit to pay respects at the Memorial, The Duke and Duchess will attend a lunch reception hosted by the Prime Minister in aid of Solomon Islands charities, including representatives of the Diamond Jubilee Trust.
• Following the lunch reception, The Duke and Duchess will fly to Marau, which is on the furthest end of the main island Guadalcanal. At Marau, The Duke and Duchess will be honored by a welcome by leaders and members of the local communities.
• Following the ceremony at Marau, the Royal couple will proceed by boat to the island of Marapa, where they will first visit a village before travelling on a traditional war canoe the short distance between Marapa and Tavanipupu. On arrival on Tavanipupu, The Duke and Duchess will be met by a local musical and dance welcome.
• On Tuesday, September 18th, Their Royal Highnesses travel back to Honiara, where they will participate in a departure ceremony at Honiara airport. The couple will bid farewell to Solomon Islands and travel to Tuvalu.
• The Duke and Duchess will be carried off their aircraft to the welcoming ceremony, where The Duke will give a speech on behalf of The Queen to her people in Tuvalu.
The last Royal visit to Tuvalu took place in 1982, when The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh travelled on Her Majesty’s Yacht Britannia to visit this most striking and remote of nations.
• Following the welcoming ceremony, the Royal couple will proceed around Funafuti island, where they will visit the primary school and the university campus and they will stop to view a coconut tree planted by The Queen during her 1982 visit. The Duke and Duchess will also view a canoe race and watch a local ball game before finally ending up at a mocked-up traditional Tuvaluan village, where the couple will view demonstrations of traditional crafts and cooking.
• In the evening, The Duke and Duchess will attend a traditional dinner, hosted by the Governor-General, where Their Royal Highnesses will have a chance to sample traditional Tuvaluan food before watching a performance of local dances.
• The next day, following a departure ceremony, The Duke and Duchess will leave Tuvalu and will return home to London via a brief change of aircraft in Brisbane.
Tiara tip to: The Prince of Wales official site