Britain's Catherine gives first public speech overseas

Story highlights

  • Duke, Duchess of Cambridge pay respects at Singapore's war cemetery
  • They then arrive in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; PM hosts couple for lunch
  • Malaysia's king, with queen and Sultan of Kedah, host couple for dinner
  • They are in Malaysia as part of tour to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee

Britain's Prince William and his wife, Catherine, arrived Thursday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where the Duchess of Cambridge gave her first public speech outside the UK.

It is the royal couple's second stop in their southeast Asian tour of Commonwealth nations to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.

The duke and duchess ended their earlier visit in Singapore by paying their respects at the Kranji War Cemetery, a former site of a prisoner of war camp when the Japanese occupied Singapore during WWII. The war cemetery now holds the graves of nearly 4,500 Commonwealth casualties, including 850 that remain unidentified.

They laid a wreath and also stopped at the Singapore Memorial, which honors the 24,000 casualties of Commonwealth land and air forces in southern Asia who have no known grave.

Read more about their Singapore visit

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The couple then took a short flight to Kuala Lumpur, where they had lunch with Malaysian Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak at his official residence, the Seri Perdana.

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Afterwards, the couple visited Hospis Malaysia, a hospice for terminally ill children and adults. While there, the duchess -- the patron of East Anglia's Children's Hospices -- addressed patients and staff in her second ever public speech.

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    "This is a very special place and so much is already being achieved," she said of the hospice, one of nearly two dozen palliative care community providers in the country.

    "Providing children and their families with a place of support, care and enhancement at a time of great need is simply life changing," she said.

    In March, she delivered her first official speech while opening a children's hospice center in Ipswich, England.

    Read more about that maiden royal speech

    According to the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance, 42% of the countries worldwide lack palliative care services.

    To cap the couple's first day in the country, they attended a dinner hosted by Malaysia's king, with the queen and Sultan of Kedah, at the royal residence, the Istana Negara, with about 400 guests, according to St. James's Palace in the UK.

    On Friday morning, they were scheduled to meet the public at a free event at KLCC Park in the city center.

    The royal couple will be in Malaysia until Sunday before heading to the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

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