Singapore gives royal welcome to William, Kate

Story highlights

  • Prince William, Catherine visit Singapore as part of diamond jubilee celebrations
  • Queen herself made state visits to Singapore in 1972, 1989 and 2006
  • The royal couple unveil first operation engine of new Rolls-Royce factory
  • They were to also visit public housing estate named in queen's honor

Hundreds of spectators waved British flags and cheered the arrival Wednesday of William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, at Singapore's new Gardens by the Bay park.

The couple's visit is part of a nine-day tour through Commonwealth countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee.

What can be expected during the tour?

The queen herself made previous state visits to Singapore in 1972, 1989 and 2006 -- and the public housing estate that her grandson and his wife were to visit later Wednesday was named Queenstown in honor of her coronation in 1953.

The estate was Singapore's first satellite town outside the urban center and has areas and roads -- Margaret Drive and Strathmore Green, for instance -- named after British towns, institutions and the Royal family.

There, members of Singapore's Parliament will greet the royal couple who will watch a cultural performance showcasing Singapore's Chinese, Malay and Indian cultures.

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After the gardens, the royal couple visited the new Rolls-Royce factory, where they officially unveiled its first operational engine. The factory aims to produce 250 engines a year for aircraft that include the A380 and create 500 new jobs.

    They will finish the day with a visit to the Rainbow Center, a school and community center for children with special needs, before attending a reception hosted by the British High Commission, according to St. James's Palace in the UK.

    On Tuesday, the royal couple viewed the "Dendrobium Memoria Princess Diana," an orchid named in honor of the duke's late mother, and the "Dendrobium Queen Elizabeth II" at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. In honor of their own visit, the "Vanda William Catherine" was named after them.

    Read more about the orchid named after Princess Diana

    They were also hosted to a state dinner by the Singapore government led by President Tony Tan and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the president's official residence, the Istana. There the Duke inspected the guard of honor and congratulated Singapore on its economic success and athletic achievements at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London.

    William and Catherine will next visit Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

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