Day Three of the Autumn Tour: Singapore

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall began their third day in Singapore in the nearby covered market of Tiong Bahru where they surprised morning shoppers buying fruit and vegetables, fish and household goods.

An energetic performance of the Xiong Sheng Dragon and Lion Dance troupe welcomed the royal couple when they arrived, and Their Royal Highnesses took good luck scrolls from the mouths of two dragons.

The Duchess of Cornwall then visited the Tiong Bahru community centre; showing off her artistic skills when she picked up a Chinese brush and painting a horse.

Under the watchful eye of class leader Ang Cheng Chye, The Duchess sketched out the animal with a brush and black ink - and joked with the press telling them "this is a horse - I'm very happy to say."

The artist 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."

The Duchess of Cornwall visits the Tiong Bahru community centre
The Duchess of Cornwall visits the Tiong Bahru community centre

During a tour of the centre The Duchess also visited a range of classes aimed at "active ageing", including Japanese flower arranging, yoga and cookery.

In a yoga class for elderly people, which had participants in their 80s, The Duchess advocated the benefits of stretching in older age.

The Prince, who turned 70 in July, said she does "a bit of" yoga and Pilates herself, and found deep breathing very relaxing, saying: "Its very good for you."

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 which is not fried.

Discussing the "good fat" of avocados, the Duchess praised "eating in the most healthy way" as "essential".

At Midday, Their Royal Highnesses visited the National Orchid Garden at the Botanical Gardens, and were involved in an orchid naming ceremony. This involved placing a plaque containing the new name ‘Dendrobium Duke (and) Duchess of Cornwall’ into the orchid pot before being presented with a birth certificate for the orchid. 

Orchid naming is a special way in which Singapore honours important visitors, and the orchid 'Dendrobium Elizabeth' was named for The Queen when she visited the country in 1972. Thirty years later, this delicate model of the flower was presented for Her Majesty's Golden Jubilee in 2002.


The Prince of Wales got to grips with a Dyson machine during a visit to the company's Singapore Technology Centre, he was faced not with a dusty floor but the world's media.

Laughing, His Royal Highness vacuumed the floor around the feet of a group of photographers then jokingly held up the vacuum's head and threatened to give one a personal clean.

Chuckling, The Prince said: "You've got dirty trousers."

Scott Maguire, Dyson's global engineering director, who handed the cleaner to The Prince to try out, 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."