Tonight The Queen hosted a State Banquet in honour of the visit from the Singaporean President this evening.
Held at Buckingham Palace, The Queen was joined by Tony Tan Keng Yam and Mrs Tan as guests of honour on their visit to the UK. The extended family attended the banquet, with Prince Philip, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Sophie, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Princess Alexandra and The Duke of Kent also there. A total of 170 guests were at the Palace. Other guests included Prime Minister David Cameron, dignitaries and those with a business or cultural background.
Both The President and The Queen gave speeches, acknowledging the relationship between the two countries, with Her Majesty recalling her three trips to the republic over the course of her reign and welcoming the couple on their visit. She also thanked them for the welcome given to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their tour of South-east Asia in 2012. “I have no doubt that by maintaining long-standing commitments to openness, fairness and enterprise, this friendship will not only be sustained but will flourish and thrive.” Her Majesty commented.
Tony Tan Keng Yam referred to the mutual respect that the UK and Singapore have built over the years in his speech at the white-tie event: “Strong people-to-people ties underpin our economic, cultural and educational links. Many generations of British people have contributed to Singapore’s development, and their legacies are preserved in Singapore’s cityscape.” He also invited Her Majesty to Singapore next year, the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence, saying that the people of Singapore have ‘genuine affection’ for The Queen.
The Queen wore the red and white Singaporean Order of Temasek, and the flag of Singapore has been on display down the Mall in recognition of this visit. Orchids, the national flower, were used in the floral displays too.
Earlier today, The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh officially welcomed President and Mrs Tan at Horse Guard’s Parade and showed them items of Singaporean relevance in the Royal Collection.
Featured photo: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills