Prince Charles begins Asia tour in Singapore

PHOTO: Reuters

Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla arrived in Singapore Monday to kick off an Asian tour aimed at cementing relations ahead of a meeting of Commonwealth states next year.

The heir to the British throne and Camilla are undertaking an 11-day trip that will also include stops in Malaysia and India.

British media had said the Foreign Office was originally considering including Myanmar on the tour, despite a military crackdown against the Muslim Rohingya minority, but in the end it was omitted from the couple's itinerary.

After arriving, Charles, wearing a suit in the tropical heat, and Camilla met Singapore athletes who were taking part in the Queen's Baton Relay, which travels around the world ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Prince Charles begins Asian tour with wife Camilla

  • The Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall are greeted by traditional dancers at the Sarawak Cultural Village in Santubong, outside Kuching, on the island of Borneo, on November 6, 2017.
  • He tries a blowpipe, a weapon of the indigenous people of Sarawak, as Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall looks on at the Sarawak Cultural Village in Santubong.
  • The prince poses for pictures with the head of tribes at the Sarawak Cultural Village in Santubong
  • Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess Of Cornwall attend a Gala Dinner to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of bilateral relations between the United Kingdom and Malaysia at the Majestic Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, November 3, 2017.
  • Prince Charles speaking to shoe designer Jimmy Choo.
  • The Prince started his first week-long official visit to Malaysia on Fri (Nov 3).
  • Prince Charles talks to worshippers as he leaves St. Mary's Cathedral after a church service in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Prince Charles (C) talks with participants during the Commonwealth Youth Event at the Nottingham University Campus in Semenyih, outside Kuala Lumpur on November 3, 2017.
  • Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall visited Tiong Bahru estate, where they were hosted on a tour of Tiong Bahru Market by Member of Parliament for Tanjong Pagar GRC and Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance Indranee Rajah and interacted with residents.
  • Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall at Tiong Bahru Market.
  • Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall at Tiong Bahru Market.
  • Prince Charles with MP Indranee Rajah at Tiong Bahru Market.
  • Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla at Tiong Bahru estate.
  • Prince Charles at Tiong Bahru estate.
  • Their Royal Highnesses at Tiong Bahru Market.
  • Their Royal Highnesses at Tiong Bahru estate.
  • Duchess Camilla with MP Indranee Rajah at Tiong Bahru Market.
  • Their Royal Highnesses at Tiong Bahru estate.
  • Their Royal Highnesses at Tiong Bahru estate.
  • Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla visited the National Orchid Garden at the Singapore Botanic Gardens, where an orchid was named in their honour.
  • Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla at the National Orchid Garden at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
  • Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla visited the National Orchid Garden at the Singapore Botanic Gardens, where an orchid was named in their honour.
  • Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla visited the National Orchid Garden at the Singapore Botanic Gardens, where an orchid was named in their honour.
  • Greeting fans at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
  • Prince Charles and President Halimah Yacob raising their glasses in a toast during a dinner that Madam Halimah hosted for the Prince and and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, at the Istana on Oct 31, 2017.
  • Duchess Camilla at Temasek Junior College.
  • Duchess Camilla meeting students at Temasek Junior College.
  • Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla at the Cenotaph war memorial in Singapore October 31, 2017.
  • Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla at the Cenotaph war memorial in Singapore October 31, 2017.
  • Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla at the Cenotaph war memorial in Singapore October 31, 2017.
  • At the Harmony Centre. (Photo: MUIS)
  • At the Harmony Centre. (Photo: MUIS)
  • Britain's Prince Charles speaks to people after laying a wreath at the Cenotaph war memorial in Singapore October 31, 2017.
  • Britain's Prince Charles lays a wreath at the Cenotaph war memorial in Singapore October 31, 2017.
  • Military veterans salute as Britain's Prince Charles prepares to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph war memorial in Singapore October 31, 2017.
  • A wreath laid by Britain's Prince Charles at the Cenotaph war memorial in Singapore, October 31, 2017.
  • A wreath laid by Britain's Prince Charles at the Cenotaph war memorial in Singapore, October 31, 2017.
  • Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall observe a minute of silence during a wreath laying ceremony at The Cenotaph war memorial in Singapore on October 31, 2017. Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall are on a four-day official visit in Singapore.
  • Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales greets members of the public after the wreath laying ceremony at The Cenotaph war memorial in Singapore on October 31, 2017.
  • Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales talks to schoolchildren after the wreath laying ceremony at The Cenotaph war memorial in Singapore on October 31, 2017.
  • Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales waves to people after the wreath laying ceremony at The Cenotaph war memorial in Singapore on October 31, 2017.
  • Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (L) lays a wreath at The Cenotaph war memorial in Singapore on October 31, 2017.
  • Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall talks to schoolchildren after the wreath laying ceremony at The Cenotaph war memorial in Singapore on October 31, 2017.
  • Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales meets Singapore’s President Halimah Yacob at the Istana in Singapore October 31, 2017.
  • Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales meets Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana in Singapore October 31, 2017.
  • Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla arrive to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph war memorial in Singapore October 31, 2017.
  • Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla talk to military personnel at the Cenotaph war memorial in Singapore October 31, 2017.
  • A view of Britain's Prince Charles' military medals as he attends a wreath laying ceremony at the Cenotaph war memorial in Singapore October 31, 2017.
  • Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall talk to Commonwealth war veterans during a wreath laying ceremony at The Cenotaph war memorial in Singapore on October 31, 2017.
  • Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales greets members of the public after the wreath laying ceremony at The Cenotaph war memorial in Singapore on October 31, 2017.
  • Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (L) and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall observe a minute of silence during a wreath laying ceremony at The Cenotaph war memorial in Singapore on October 31, 2017.
  • Britain's Prince Charles speaks with military veterans after laying a wreath at the Cenotaph war memorial in Singapore October 31, 2017.
  • Military personnel wait for the arrival of Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla at the Cenotaph war memorial in Singapore October 31, 2017.
  • Singapore's President Halimah Yacob shows Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales the way to the welcoming ceremony at the Istana presidential palace in Singapore on October 31, 2017.
  • Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, were welcomed by President Halimah Yacob and her husband Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee at the Istana on Oct 31, 2017.
  • It is the prince's second official visit to Singapore since 1979, and the first for his wife.
  • The royal couple also met Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Mrs Lee at the Istana.
  • Prince Charles and his wife Camilla arrived in Singapore Monday to kick off an Asian tour aimed at cementing relations ahead of a meeting of Commonwealth states next year.
  • The heir to the British throne and Camilla are undertaking an 11-day trip that will also include stops in Malaysia and India.
  • After arriving, Charles, wearing a suit in the tropical heat, and Camilla met Singapore athletes who were taking part in the Queen's Baton Relay, which travels around the world ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
  • On Tuesday Charles and Camilla will receive a ceremonial welcome at the presidential palace, and meet President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

On Tuesday Charles and Camilla will receive a ceremonial welcome at the presidential palace, and meet President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

They will lay a wreath at the city's Cenotaph, which honours soldiers who died during World War I and II, and will have an orchid named after them - an honour typically bestowed on dignitaries visiting the city-state.

In the evening the couple will be honoured with a state banquet.

Prince Charles during his first visit to Singapore in 1979.  Photo: The Straits Times file

Singapore's foreign ministry said the visit "reaffirms the historic and long-standing relationship between Singapore and the United Kingdom" - the city-state was a British colonial trading post for over a century and formed part of the Straits Settlements with Malacca and Penang.

It won full independence in 1965.

After ending their trip to Singapore on Thursday, the couple will kick off a week-long trip to Malaysia. They will visit Kuala Lumpur, meet with tribespeople on Borneo island before heading to historic George Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Charles and Camilla will end their tour with a visit to India, where they will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Commonwealth Summit will take place in Britain in April, with leaders from more than 50 countries expected to attend.

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