Singapore: Visiting royals, Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, wrapped up their three—day official visit to Singapore on Thursday.
They visited the Kranji War Memorial in the morning and placed a wreath there.
Kranji War Memorial, which also serves as a state cemetery, houses war graves and 12 memorial walls with the names of over 25,000 allied soldiers killed in World War II but whose bodies were never recovered.
The memorial honours World War II fighters who battled under the British flag as ANZAC fighters and regiments of the former colonies of India and Malaya.
The wreath—laying ceremony lasted some 10 minutes, after which the British bugle call "The Last Post" was sounded, signalling the start of a minute’s silence.
The royal couple then met veterans and serving military staff from Singapore, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.
Some war veterans said their visit was beneficial to Singapore and Britain.
Roy No Mutthiah, a war veteran and president of Ex—Services Association of Singapore, said: "It’s good for our country. And I feel it’s very great for me to meet the young prince because I’ve met the Queen, (the late Princess) Margaret, (and) Prince Charles.
"I’ve been to London and the Buckingham Palace, and I’ve travelled all over the warfront. So it’s a lot of memories and experience (for me)."
After visiting Kranji, the royal couple will leave for Kuala Lumpur.
The four—day visit to Malaysia, another former British colony, is expected to further enhance the existing friendly relations between the countries, said the Malaysian Foreign Ministry in a statement.
While in Kuala Lumpur, the Duke and Duchess will have an audience with Malaysian King Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah and attend a royal dinner at the Istana Negara.
They will also meet Prime Minister Najib Razak at his official residence, Seri Perdana.
While in Kuala Lumpur, the Duchess is expected to visit a hospice where she will make her first overseas speech as she settles into her duties with the British monarchy.
Prince William and Catherine are on a nine—day Southeast Asian and Pacific tour as part of celebrations marking the 60—year reign of Prince William’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth II.
The Diamond Jubilee trip, which also sees the royal couple travelling to the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu, aims to maintain the British monarchy’s relevance in a rapidly changing world.
So far, Prince William and Catherine, fondly known as Will and Kate, have succeeded in drawing a royal following with eager on—lookers outside Raffles Hotel where they were staying, and crowds —— from tourists to local residents —— punctuating every stop they made in Singapore.
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