PRINCE William and wife Kate shared an emotional journey today as they finally saw the orchid named after Princess Diana that his mother never got to see.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who landed in Singapore this morning, paused for a poignant moment of reflection at the white flower.
Just a few weeks before William’s mother was due to see the bloom on a visit to Singapore, she was killed in a car crash in Paris in August, 1997.
The Dendrobium Memoria Princess Diana was named in the the princess’s honour a month after the tragedy.
William and Kate looked sombre as they took in the sight. But William could be heard praising the delicate blooms saying “it’s beautiful, it’s beautiful”.
They looked at ease as they chatted and walked among the displays at Singapore Botanic Gardens. Kate was wearing a kimono-style pink dress with an orchid pattern by designer Jenny Packham. They were present as another orchid, Vanda William Catherine, was formally named after them. Other orchids are named after Nelson Mandela and Margaret Thatcher.
The royal couple are touring the region over the next nine days in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, meeting kings, presidents and prime ministers and a host of ordinary people from some of the world’s most remote nations.
Antony Phillipson, British high commissioner to Singapore, greeted the couple at Singapore Changi airport and praised the feelgood factor they have generated among Britons.
Speaking ahead of their arrival on a scheduled flight from the UK, he said: “Over the last few weeks, as we’ve been able to tell people more and more about the visit, there’s been a mounting excitement.
“This is a couple who are global superstars and make the British feel very, very good about themselves.”
The couple arrived in Singapore after a 14-hour flight. Dozens of journalists from around the world are accompanying them on their journey, which will also take them to neighbouring Malaysia and the remote nations of the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu to mark the Queen’s 60-year reign.
At the airport, the royal couple were greeted by senior parliamentary secretary for the ministry of defence Maliki Osman, who said the couple told him they were “excited” to have arrived.
He said: “It’s a great honour to have them here in Singapore, for them to be starting their tour here. They said they were excited to be here and looking forward to the visit.”
His wife Sadiah Bte Shahal, who presented Kate with an enormous bouquet of yellow flowers, said: “They are such a lovely couple, so affable. Kate was asking me about my children, what their ages are.
“We talked about the UK and particularly about shopping at Bicester. I said I’ve been there and I love it and she said she does as well. She also asked me about the flowers I gave her, she said they are very unusual and what are they. I said I’m not sure but I think they’re two types of orchids.”