Day 3 in Singapore: orchids, vacuuming & painting for Prince Charles & Camilla

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall began their third day in Singapore at a local market, before Camilla had a go at painting, and Prince Charles – vacuuming!

prince charles and camilla look round a local market in singapore (clarence house)

At Tiong Bahru indoor market, the royal couple surprised morning shoppers buying their groceries with an appearance, welcomed by a performance by the Xiong Sheng Dragon and Lion Dance troupe.

Charles and Camilla took good luck scrolls from the mouths of two dragons during the welcome.

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Stall-holder Pishon Toh was honoured that the Royals visited his family flower stall. “It’s really my honour to meet them. Everyone wanted to shake their hands and stand beside them, but they couldn’t. But out of all the stalls in the market, they chose to come to ours. We thought it would be peaceful, like a normal MP visit. But it was so crowded, especially with all the security. There was really no space to walk!”

the royal couple examine the market’s wares (clarence house)

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The Duchess then visited the Tiong Bahru community centre, and had a go at painting in front of the cameras. She picked up a Chinese brush and painted a horse with a few deft stroe

“This is a horse – I’m very happy to say,” Camilla joked with the assembled press.

Artist Ang Cheng Chye, who was supervising the session, said afterwards: “She was a very good painter, it looks like she may have had lessons, we’re going to frame this and put it on display.”

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Both Prince Charles and his wife paint, although the Prince a little more regularly. He has even published a book of his paintings, and some can be seen on display at Dumfries House.

‘Active ageing’ classes were taking place during the royal visit, from Japanese flower arranging, to yoga and cookery.

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Camilla dropped by a few of these sessions, and admitted she enjoyed some yoga and pilates, with the deep breathing exercises being relaxing for her. The 70-year-old Duchess also advocated the benefits of stretching.

At a cookery classes hosted by chef Jolyn Wong and aimed at tackling diabetes, the Duchess assisted in making popiah – a healthy Asian spring roll.

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Camilla commented that ‘eating in the most healthy way’ was ‘essential’, and the chef praised her skills: “I was impressed.”

Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts was the next stop for The Prince of Wales, where he was shown art work from local students and artists. He was also treated to a musical performance.

At the gallery is also a scheme where at risk youth are given job training and employment opportunities in culinary fields; similar work is promoted by The Prince’s Trust, so Charles spoke to those involved in the programme to see how it was benefitting them.

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A stop at Singapore Technology Centre followed; here, he had a go at hoovering, with a Dyson V8 Absolute, leading to a number of jokes about him doing housework at home!

Giggling as he went, Charles cleaned the area around the photographers’ feet, before holding the machine up and offering to give one member of the pack a clean: “You’ve got dirty trousers,” he said.

Dyson’s global engineering director, said “It was a great visit, he was pretty focused not only on all the technology Dyson is developing and innovating, from batteries to robotics, but spent a lot of time with our staff, wanting to know where they were from and what types of engineers we have.”

“He was also pretty keen on the technology inside it.”

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The husband and wife regrouped at lunchtime, to visit the National Orchid Garden at the Botanical Gardens. Here, Prince Charles and Camilla helped name an orchid: ‘Dendrobium Duke (and) Duchess of Cornwall’, in honour of the couple.

They placed a plaque containing the new name into the orchid pot before being presented with a birth certificate for the orchid. This tradition is a way in which Singapore honours important visitors, like The Queen, who named the orchid ‘Dendrobium Elizabeth’, when she visited in 1972.

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Charles and Camilla saw the delicate flower model which was presented to Her Majesty for the Golden Jubilee of 2002.

Strolling through the gardens on a steamy day, the couple seemed to enjoy the vibrant blooms. Prince Charles, it is well-known, is a keen gardener himself.

Prince Charles and the Duchess are on an 11-day tour of Asia, and will visit Brunei, India and Malaysia.

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