Royal couple start Far East tour
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are due to arrive in Singapore for a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
William and Kate will also tour Malaysia and the remote nations of the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu to mark the monarch's 60-year reign.
Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, principal private secretary and equerry to the Cambridges, said: "The Duke and Duchess will use the tour to pay tribute - through what they do and say and who they meet - to the Queen's lifetime and dedication to the mix of peoples and cultures that make up all of Her Majesty's realms and the Commonwealth. The tour will comprise a mixture of formal and informal moments which reflect these aims and Duke and Duchess's characters and interests."
The official visits will be a colourful experience for the royals, who are expected to get involved in sporting activities, wear traditional dress when in the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu, travel by canoe and receive traditional welcomes.
Other highlights include Kate making her first speech in a foreign country when she addresses staff and patients at a Malaysian hospice. She is royal patron of East Anglia's Children's Hospices and gave her inaugural speech to volunteers and staff at the organisation's Ipswich hospice earlier this year.
William's interest in conservation and ecology will see the royals visit the rainforest jungles of the Malaysian state of Sabah, where they will climb up into the canopy.
In Tuvalu, the Duke is likely to learn about the concerns residents have about rising sea levels due to climate change.
The Cambridges' first engagement is an orchid naming ceremony in Singapore when flowers will be named after the Duke and Duchess. In a poignant moment, the royal couple will see an orchid named after William's mother Diana, Princess of Wales. The former royal was expected to see the bloom but she died in a car crash in Paris in 1997 - the 15th anniversary of her death fell last month.
In the evening the royals will receive an official guard of honour welcome at Istana, the official residence of President Tony Tan Keng Yam - before having an informal meeting with the Singapore head of state, and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. In the evening, a state reception and dinner will be staged in their honour.
The Diamond Jubilee tour will take the royal couple to Singapore from September 11-13; on to Malaysia, where they will tour Kuala Lumpur and Sabah, from September 13-15; to the Solomon Islands between September 16-18; and the final stop is Tuvalu from September 18-19.