The royal couple arrived in Singapore for the first time as part of a nine-day Asia Pacific tour
Text: Joyce J. Chansingh
Photos: xinmsn, Reuters, Calvin Wong and NParks
Video: Fiona Lin
Royal fever hits town today as Britain's Prince William and his wife, Catherine arrived in Singapore on Tuesday afternoon.
Here on a three-day visit starting September 11, their arrival is part of a nine-day Asia Pacific tour to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were welcomed by Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Defence and National Development and Mayor, South East District, Dr Mohamed Maliki Osman.
Security was extremely tight at the VIP Complex at Changi Airport where police officers were seen making their rounds and xinmsn was also asked to leave when we tried to set up camp, hoping to catch sight of the royal convoy.
Making their first stop at Singapore Botanic Gardens, William and Catherine, who were married in April 2011, were warmly welcomed by hordes of excited fans and media personnel. The gorgeous couple were seen waving back to the crowd as they were being driven in to the orchid garden where they attended an orchid naming ceremony.
The royals were presented with Vanda William Catherine - a free-flowering orchid hybrid with white petals and sepals with purple red spots that was named after them.
"The Singapore Botanic Gardens is very honoured to host the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for this visit. It is especially significant that we are able to name an orchid after Their Royal Highnesses," said Mr Poon Hong Yuen, CEO of the National Parks Board (NParks).
Prince William and his wife also viewed two orchids named after William's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II and the late Princess Diana, who died in 1997 in a tragic car crash in Paris.
The royals will receive an official guard of honour welcome at the Istana on their first evening here and meet with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Tony Tan, where a state reception and dinner will be held in their honour.
Apart from Botanic Gardens, the royal couple will be visiting Gardens by the Bay, Rolls Royce factory, Queenstown HDB estate and the Rainbow Centre at Margaret Drive.
Their final stop in Singapore will be at the Kranji Memorial, after which the Duke and Duchess will continue their tour including Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.
Members of the public who wish to meet Prince William and his wife can do so on Wednesday, Sep 12, 10am at Gardens by the Bay. The place is open to the public and would be the best opportunity to see the royal couple.
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