Friday, July 20, 2012

'Global Superstars' William and Kate Set Down in Singapore + View Diana's Orchid at Botanic Gardens

The wait is finally over! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's eagerly anticipated royal tour of South-East Asia has officially begun.

William and Kate touched down at Singapore's Changi International Airport at 2.30 p.m. SGT and will spend the next nine days touring  Singapore, Malaysia, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu in celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The destinations were chosen by the Queen for the Cambridges second major overseas tour and the young royals looked incredibly excited.

Simon Vigar 5 Twitter

Principal Private Secretary and Equerry to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton said:

'The aim of this tour is to celebrate The Queen's Diamond Jubilee. 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 of 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 moment which reflect these aims and the Duke and Duchess's charachters and interests specifically'.

The couple were met by representatives of the Singaporean Government and the British High Commissioner. Kate has never been to any of the places on the tour according to aides so it's very exciting for the Duchess to embrace new countries and cultures.

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Defence Dr Maliki Osman greeted the couple and his wife chatted with Kate about shopping at Bicester
'Kate asked about my three children and what ages they are. We talked about the UK and particularly about shopping in Bicester. I said I've been there and I love it and she said she does as well. She said it's great how everything is so contained. She also asked me about the flowers I gave her, she said they are very unusual and what are they. I said I'm not sure but I think they're two types of orchids'.

The buzz in Singapore is nothing short of amazing. British High Commissioner Antony Phillipson described William and Kate as 'Global superstars who make the British feel very very good about themselves'.

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The Queen at Toa Payoh in 2006 with Singaporeans. No doubt Her Majesty will be immensely proud to have William and Kate representing her. 

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Kate looked lovely in a kimono style pale pink dress with an orchid pattern and three-quarter sleeves by the wonderful Jenny Packham. The dress was obviously chosen because of the orchid naming ceremony in the couple's honour at the Botanic Gardens. A lovely tribute. According to Grazia Kate commissioned the UK designer to design the Asian influenced dress. Ms Packham showcases her Spring/Summer 2013 Collection at NY Fashion Week today.  Kate wore her half up half down, a very elegant look.

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A closer look at the orchids on the dress.

The Duchess wore her favourite LK Bennett Sledge Pumps in off white. They are currently reduced from £185 to £145.

LK Bennett

 Kate accessorized with her Annoushka Baroque Pearl Earrings. The 18ct yellow gold and pearl earrings are available for £295.


William and Kate's first stop in Singapore was a visit to the beautiful Botanic Gardens.

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The couple took part in an Orchid naming ceremony during which an orchid was named in their honour. This is an honour bestowed on members of the British Royal family as well as other public figures.

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Motorcade carrying William and Kate.

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The couple toured the National Orchid Garden.

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A look at William and Kate's orchid the 'Vanda William Catherine'.

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It was a poignant visit for the couple who viewed the 'Diana' orchid in the VIP garden. Diana was due to visit Singapore to view the orchid but due to her untimely and tragic death she was never able to make the journey. 

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Sky's Paul Harrison wrote

'Fifteen years after his mother's death, it will fall to William to complete the journey his mother was never to make'.

When William saw the 'Diana' orchid he said 'It's beautiful. Beautiful'.

Sky News Reporter Paul Harrison Twitter

The orchid breeding programme of the Singapore Botanic Gardens was initiated by Prof. Eric Holttum in 1928 and outstanding hybrids from this programme established the reputation of the Gardens' orchid programme. As Singapore orchids gained fame, it became obvious they should be used as agents to promote goodwill. From 1957 the Singapore government began to honour VIPs by naming orchids after them. William and Kate's orchid will join Diana's, The Queen's and Nelson Mandela's in the garden.


A waterfall in the Ginger Gardens.


Music was played at this gazebo, known as the Bandstand in the Botanic Gardens in the 1930s.

The Duke and Duchess's signed their names in a guest book before leaving.

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The royals signatures.

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What did you think of the couple's first tour engagement and did you like Kate's outfit?

Rebecca English Twitter

The couple then travelled to Raffles Hotel to check in (crowds formed outside the hotel in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the couple) and change for an official state dinner, hosted by the President of Singapore, at his official residence the Istana.


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