It's beautiful, says Will of orchid named after Diana

SINGAPORE - Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine arrived in Singapore Tuesday to kick off a Southeast Asian and Pacific tour marking Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.

The maiden Singapore visit of Britain’s Prince William and his wife, Catherine, took a bittersweet turn yesterday when they viewed an orchid named after Prince William’s late mother.

Whisked to the Botanic Gardens immediately after touching down at Changi Airport’s VIP complex just before 3pm yesterday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were shown the orchid named Dendrobium Memoria Princess Diana.

They are on their first stop of a nine-day Asia-Pacific tour in celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee this year.

The white orchid hybrid was named in memory of the Princess of Wales on Sept 2, 1997. She was due to see the bloom but died in August that year in a car crash in Paris.

As the orchid was pointed out to him, the Duke reportedly said: "It's beautiful, it’s beautiful. That’s very nice."

The Duke and Duchess also viewed the Dendrobium Elizabeth II, named after the Queen during a 1972 visit.

The couple were also honoured with an orchid of their own, the Vanda William Catherine, a purple-and-white free- flowering orchid hybrid.

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Click on thumbnail to view (Photos: AFP, myp, ST, Reuters)