Heritage

Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla to Tour Singapore, Malaysia, and India in Late October

The royal couple will make their way through Asia over ten days as part of their traditional autumn tour.
IMAGE WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
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Early this month, Clarence House announced that Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall will make their way to Southeast Asia and India at the end of October. According to The Prince of Wales’ official website, Their Royal Highnesses’ visit, “will celebrate the U.K.'s partnership with these Commonwealth Nations on shared priorities in advance of the Commonwealth Summit in April 2018.”

The 10-day tour will kick off on October 31 in Singapore, where the royal couple will be welcomed by President Halimah Yacob at a ceremony at his residence and office, the Istana. Additionally, Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla will meet Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and will attend an official dinner by the state.

During the rest of their stay, the royals will meet with ten of Singapore’s religious leaders to collaborate on community cohesion. The program will innovate and further advance research on the creation of jobs for both countries. To celebrate the relationship between the United Kingdom and Singapore, “a wreath-laying ceremony to acknowledge the sacrifices made by British, Singaporean and Commonwealth personnel during the two World Wars and other conflicts,” said the announcement.

The Duchess of Cornwall will also attend a meeting with young writers aspiring to enter The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition. The competition has been managed by The Royal Commonwealth Society since 1883, and is the world’s oldest schools’ international writing competition. In November, Duchess Camilla will represent the Queen and present winners and runners-up with certificates during formal Awards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

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The Prince and the Duchess will then tour Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur starting November 3. Part of their itinerary is a gala dinner to celebrate 60 years of the U.K. and Malaysia’s ties and a celebration of the Commonwealth as a lead-up to the Commonwealth Summits, which will be held in the U.K. in 2018 and Malaysia in 2020.

Their Royal Highnesses are also scheduled to visit Sarawak and Perak to see the ongoing promotion of wildlife conservation and protection of biodiversity while meeting the state’s indigenous communities. In Sarawak, Duchess Camilla will meet with the representatives of Purple Lily, a non-governmental organization focused on advancing female empowerment through education and skills programs. The royals will end their Malaysian tour with a visit to Georgetown, Penang by meeting the island’s communities and experiencing local culture.

The royal couple will then head to India on November 8 to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and complete scheduled engagements to celebrate the United Kingdom and India’s Year of Culture. The autumn tour marks The Royal Highnesses first official visit to Malaysia and their first joint visit to Singapore.

Earlier reports stated that the Prince and the Duchess will tour Myanmar as part of their autumnal tour. However, in light of ongoing military crackdowns in the state, it appears Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office shelved the plans. “We looked at a range of options in the region and, as we’re announcing today, we’re going ahead with the visit to Singapore and Malaysia,” Philip Malone, the deputy head of the department said.

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Paolo Chua
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