Will and Kate tour the Pacific

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge ar­rived in Singapore on 9 September, at the start of their nine-day tour of Asia and the South Pacific to celebrate the Queen’s Dia­mond Jubilee. The tour included Malaysia, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

The couple met Singapore’s President Tan Keng Yam Tony and Prime Minister Lee Hs­ien Loong. In a short speech at the official presidential residence, William paid tribute to his grandmother, ‘Her service has not just been to the peoples of her realms, but to the whole Commonwealth family, of which Sin­gapore is such an important member.’

The Duchess gave her first official speech on foreign soil while visiting a hos­pice in Malaysia, their second stop on the tour. In her address, the duchess said she had learned the importance of the care pro­vided by such centres through her role as patron of East Anglia’s Children Hospices. ‘With effective palliative care, lives can be transformed. Treatment, support, care and advice can provide a lifeline to families at a time of great need.’ Institutions dedi­cated to providing palliative care treatment for those with terminal illnesses are rare in Malaysia and across the Far East.

While in Malaysia, they attended a state dinner hosted by the head of state and ex­plored the Borneo rainforest before being greeted by Pacific warriors at their third stop in Solomon Islands. The couple vis­ited the capital of Honiara, where William played football with a group of local chil­dren and Kate met local women working to help address gender inequality in the coun­try. In their final stop, the tiny island state of Tuvalu, the couple were presented with a number of gifts, including woven mats, fans and models of a traditional house vil­lage and canoe.


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