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William and Kate to arrive in KL on Sept 13

September 9, 2012

The trip from Sept 13 to 15 will also feature the former Kate Middleton's first speech in a foreign country.

LONDON: Britain’s Prince William and his wife Catherine bring their royal star power to Southeast Asia and the Pacific this week as part of a tour marking Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.

The nine-day trip will feature the former Kate Middleton’s first speech in a foreign country, as she continues to learn the ropes of the British monarchy following her marriage to William last year.

The tour of Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu will also include a poignant tribute to William’s mother Diana Princess of Wales who died in a car crash in Paris 15 years ago.

Britain’s younger royals are touring the globe throughout 2012 as part of celebrations marking the 60-year reign of William’s grandmother the queen as they seek to maintain their relevance in a changing world.

“The aim of the tour is to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee” said Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, principal private secretary and equerry to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as they are known under royal protocol.

“The Duke and Duchess will use the tour to pay tribute — through what they do and say and who they meet — to the Queen’s lifetime and dedication to the mix of peoples and cultures that make up all of Her Majesty’s realms and the Commonwealth.

“The tour will comprise a mixture of formal and informal moments which reflect these aims and Duke and Duchess’s characters and interests.”

William and Catherine will stop first in Singapore — which gained independence from Britain in 1963 along with Malaysia before separating from Malaysia two years later — from Tuesday until Thursday.

Their first engagement will be an orchid naming ceremony in Singapore when flowers will be named after them. One of them will be named after Princess Diana.

First speech abroad

They will then go on to Malaysia, where they will tour Kuala Lumpur and Borneo’s Sabah state from Sept 13-15.

It is in Malaysia that Catherine will give her first speech abroad, addressing staff and patients at a hospice.

The pair will then travel to the Solomon Islands, a former British protectorate northeast of Australia, between Sept 16-18 before a final stop in the tiny nation of Tuvalu from September 18-19.

The royals are also expected to take part in sporting activities and wear traditional dress when they visit the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu, as well as travel by canoe at one point.

Queen Elizabeth is head of state in the Solomons and Tuvalu, both of which are members of the Commonwealth.

Catherine has already revealed that William, second in line to the British throne, has been making some special preparations ahead of the trip.

“William’s been practising his dance moves,” the duchess joked as the couple met Solomon Islands’ governor general Sir Frank Kabui at a reception in June.

“We’re extremely excited. Both of us have never been anywhere near there,” William said during the event at London’s historic Guildhall.

The wedding of William and Catherine, both 30, in April 2011 was watched on television by up to two billion people around the world and helped breathe new life into Britain’s monarchy after years of crisis.



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