Britain’s Prince Charles will visit Singapore, Malaysia and India starting from October 31. He will meet the newly elected President of Singapore Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and also attend different events.
A press release issued by the Prince’s office said, “The Prince of Wales and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, will be welcomed by President Halimah Yacob at a ceremony at the Istana - the official residence and office of the President of Singapore. Their Royal Highnesses will also meet Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong before attending an official dinner.”
The three-day visit of the royal couple to the Lion City will be marked by many key events, including a meeting with leaders from Singapore’s ten national religions in order to highlight Singapore's innovative approach to community cohesion; an event with representatives from British companies working in Singapore to see how a collaborative approach to research and innovation is creating jobs in both countries; a wreath-laying ceremony to acknowledge the sacrifices made by British, Singaporean and Commonwealth personnel during the two World Wars and other conflicts and an event to celebrate close UK-Singapore cultural collaborations.
This will be the Duchess’ first official visit to Singapore, while the Prince’s last official visit was in March 1979.
The itinerary of Duchess of Cornwall Camilla includes a visit to a school to meet young people aspiring to enter the Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition, the world’s oldest schools’ international writing competition. She will present certificates to the 2017 winners and runners-up on behalf of Queen Elizabeth at a formal awards ceremony at Buckingham Palace in November.
The royal couple will start their journey in Malaysia on November 3. In the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, both will attend a gala dinner celebrating 60 years of diplomatic ties between the UK and Malaysia. They will then head to Sarawak and Perak, before ending their visit to Malaysia in Georgetown, Penang.
Lastly, the royal couple will end their 11-day tour of Southeast Asia by visiting India on November 8 where they will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
However, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla will not visit Myanmar.
The royal couple will not visit Myanmar despite earlier media reports suggesting that an official visit was being planned. Earlier, Myanmar was part of schedule but it was omitted from the final programme.
Philip Malone, Deputy Head of Department at Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office, said, “We looked at a range of options in the region and, as we're announcing today, we're going ahead with the visit to Singapore and Malaysia.” He declined to elaborate.
The omission of Myanmar from the royal tour is seen as an indictment of its government for the ongoing Rohingya Muslim crisis which the United Nations has branded as ethnic cleansing. Last month, Britain suspended its training programme for the military in Myanmar because of the violence, and diplomatic relations have deteriorated.
Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK, said, “To have someone of Prince Charles’ stature go to visit the country would be seen as a reward, and giving legitimacy to the government and the military that are currently violating international law.”