WRAPPER: British royals' visit to Southeast Asia

Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall ride on a raft at the Sarawak Cultural Village in Santubong, outside Kuching, on the island of Borneo, on November 6, 2017. (AFP Photo/Mohd Rasfan)

His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, alongside his wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, Duchess of Cornwall are currently in Malaysia as part of their South and Southeast Asian tour, in hopes of strengthening relationships between the Commonwealth nations and the United Kingdom.

“I cannot tell you how delighted my wife and I are to have been invited to visit Malaysia to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of your independence and all the years of diplomatic ties between our countries that have followed. (It) is also a particularly special opportunity to celebrate the enduring ties between our people. Those ties, of course, go back a very long way and the friendship between us is so deeply rooted in our shared history,” announced Prince Charles at a gala dinner organised to celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and the United Kingdom, at the Majestic Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

The family tree of the British royal family.

Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, also known as the Prince of Wales, is the oldest child of the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. He has held the title since the year 1958.

The British royal couple began their 11-day tour in Singapore on October 30, 2017, where they stayed for four days. They stopped over at the National Orchid Garden, the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, the Tiong Bharu Community Centre, the MacRitchie Reservoir Park, the Cenotaph war memorial and the Istana Presidential Palace in the island state.

This was followed by a short stopover in Brunei before travelling across the border to Malaysia, where they visited the capital city, Kuala Lumpur, before making their way back to Borneo with a tour of the Sarawak Cultural Village. They plan to end the Malaysian leg of the tour in Penang – home to the Georgetown UNESCO World Heritage site – albeit torrid floods and erratic weather patterns. After that, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will head to India where they will end their official tour.

Prince Charles and Camilla have notably opted out of visiting crisis-hit Myanmar during their trip, mainly due to the ongoing violence and unrest that the nation is currently facing. The United Nations earlier accused Myanmar's military for engaging in ethnic cleansing acts which displaced hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims over the past four months.

Countries that are part of Prince Charles and Camilla's official tour to Asia.

During his stay, Prince Charles also attended the inaugural Commonwealth Youth Summit 2017 which was held at the University of Nottingham in Semenyih, Malaysia. The Commonwealth Youth Summit is a pre-consultation lead up event towards the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) scheduled in London, in 2018.

"The youths would be the one giving ideas and solutions for global issues that would be tabled at the CHOGM 2018 meeting. Prince Charles was very open to the views and opinions of the youth and how that can change current global issues," said Archana Vashisht, a 21-year old law student and the Malaysian student delegate for the Commonwealth Youth Summit.

CHOGM is expected to host all 52 Commonwealth nations which will focus on four core issues: "People", "Business", "Women" and "Youth". The ultimate objective of the meeting is to establish a common vision and future for the Commonwealth nations to work towards.


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