The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are currently in Singapore for a four-day tour. On Tuesday, the Duchess toured Temasek Junior College.
Before her arrival, students could be seen cramming the corridors, extending their mobile phones, waiting to catch just a glimpse of her. They weren’t disappointed. Camilla arrived at the university to cheers.
She was to meet participants of The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition. This is the world’s oldest international competition. A student from the junior college won an award last year.
During her tour, the Duchess observed students participating in a music activity. She also watched Singaporean poet Alvin Pang lead a workshop for competition students.
The Duchess also met students who took some time away from preparing for their A-level examinations which will be held next week.
“We just want to kaypoh,” said JC2 student Tan Guan Yu. Meaning most of the student body was just being nosey, parker, or busybodies observing the Duchess.
“I just feel proud and privileged that out of every school in Singapore, she chose to visit ours.”
His friend, Nicole de Cruz added: “I just wanted to follow from a distance, because it’s interesting. I’ve never seen royalty before, and it’s a once in a lifetime experience.”
Other students who interacted with the Duchess on her tour of the school were taken with how personable and friendly she was in person.
“When the teachers said she might stop and talk to us for awhile, I didn’t really expect that,” said fourth-year IP student, Grace Hoten. Grace, her classmates and teacher were sitting on a bench located along the Duchess’s route studying a poem. Grace was quite surprised that Camilla stopped to chat with them despite being told she might.
“I thought she would just walk past. But she came to every single table to chat. That was really nice. My mum would definitely have liked me to take a photo with her,” she added, to laughs from her classmates.
Before she departed, Camilla posed with staff and students before signing the guest book. Everyone at the college was warned explicitly not to block the Duchess’s route. No one got in the way, but students and teachers alike stood on the sidelines at every stop just to catch a glimpse of her.
Before she left, students lined both sides of the school’s driveway to offer a silent goodbye. As she entered the car, a few scattered applause and cheers sounded but soon grew to a wave of noise. Students, staff, school leaders and janitorial staff came out to bid Camilla a farewell.