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The Queen readies for Singapore State Visit

Her Majesty The Queen will welcome His Excellency The President of the Republic of Singapore and his wife when they pay a State Visit to the United Kingdom later this month.

Mr Tony Tan Keng Yam, accompanied by Mary Chee Bee Kiang, will stay at Buckingham Palace as guests of The Queen from Monday 20th October until Friday 24th October 2014.

This will be the President’s first State Visit to the UK; The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have previously made three State Visits to Singapore in 1972, 1989 and, most recently, in 2006.

Singapore declared independence from the United Kingdom on the 31st August 1963, opting to form the new Federation of Malaysia along with the Federation of Malaya, Crown Colony of Sarawak and Crown Colony of North Borneo.

Two years later, after many bitter disagreements with the Malaysian Parliament, Singapore became the Republic of Singapore on the 9th August 1965. This State Visit to the UK comes ahead of the 50th Independence celebrations in August 2015.

The President and Mrs Tan will undertake a busy schedule of engagements with members of the British Royal Family, beginning on Tuesday 21st October. They are due to arrive privately into London Heathrow Airport on Monday 20th October where they will be greeted by The Viscount Hood, Lord-in-Waiting on behalf of The Queen.

At the time of writing, no further engagements have been announced for Monday 20th October.

Tuesday 21st October 2014


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will greet The President and Mrs Tan at the Royal Garden Hotel in London on behalf of The Queen, before travelling to Horse Guards Parade where The President will receive a Ceremonial Welcome.

The Duchess of Cambridge’s last public engagement was on 5th August 2014 when she visited The Tower of London’s poppy installation, named ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ alongside Princes William and Harry.

Catherine, who is pregnant with her second child, has been suffering with Hyperemesis Gravidarum and has been forced to cancel a number of engagements, including a two-day visit to Malta which The Duke undertook in her place.

Kensington Palace have made it clear that her condition continues to be monitored and decisions about her participation in engagements are made closer to the time. We also expect this to be the case with the State Visit.

Her Majesty and The Duke of Edinburgh will formally welcome His Excellency and Mrs Tan at the Royal Pavillion on Horse Guards Parade. After a number of presentations and the Royal Salute, they will play the Singapore National Anthem. The President will then inspect the Guard of Honor, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh.

The President and Mrs Tan are expected to accompany The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh in a state carriage procession along The Mall, back to Buckingham Palace where both parties will enjoy a private lunch.


Following the lunch, The Queen will invite the Presidential party into the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace to view a Singaporean exhibition with items from the Royal Collection.

The President and Mrs Tan will then visit Westminster Abbey where the President will lay a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Soldier and then take a tour of the Abbey.

Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the British Colonial Official who founded the then British Colony in Singapore in 1819, has a memorial statue in the Abbey and the Presidential party will view the statue during their tour. Raffles is also credited with having founded London Zoo.

Following on from the tour of Westminster Abbey, the Presidential party will make the short journey to the Palace of Westminster. Welcoming the party will be The Rt. Hon John Bercow and The Rt. Hon Baroness D’Souza, The Speaker of the House of Commons and The Lord Speaker, respectively.

Speaking in the Royal Robing Room, President Tan will make an address. The Robing Room is where The Queen puts on the Imperial State Crown and her ceremonial robes before making her way to the House of Lords for the State Opening of Parliament. The 19th century Chair of State is provided for her use, beneath a canopy carved with the rose of England, the thistle of Scotland, the shamrock of Ireland and Queen Victoria’s monogram.

After his speech, The President will attend a reception with members of the All-Party Parliamentary Groups and other guests. It is also expected that he will receive at call at Buckingham Palace from Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.


The Queen will host a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace. Both Her Majesty and The President will make speeches at the beginning of the Banquet.

Wednesday 22nd October 2014


The President and Mrs Tan will visit the Royal Society, accompanied by The Duke of York. The President, like The Duke, is a strong supporter of science and innovation and will be presented with the Royal Society King Charles II Medal during his trip. After this, he will deliver a speech.

The President and Mrs Tan, with The Duke of York, will then be met by The Lord Livingston of Parkhead, Minister of State for Trade and Investment. He will present stakeholders and business leaders at the ‘UK and Singapore: Innovating Together for the 21st Century’ event.

Afterwards, President Tan will meet with the Prime Minister, David Cameron, at 10 Downing Street for a bilateral meeting.


The President and Mrs Tan will attend the Diwali celebration of the Singapore United Kingdom Association in London.

Later, it is anticipated that The President will receive a call from the Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband, at Buckingham Palace.


The Lord Mayor of London and City of London Corporation will host a Banquet at Guildhall. The President and Mrs Tan will attend, along with The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.

The Lord Mayor and The President will both make speeches at the end of the Banquet.

Thursday 23rd October 2014


Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will formally bid farewell to His Excellency and Mrs Tan in the morning at Buckingham Palace.

The President and Mrs Tan will then travel to Bristol, firstly visiting M Shed, Prince’s Wharf, where they will learn about the transformation of the harbour area that has taken place within the city. The Mayor of the City of Bristol will host a lunch in honour of the guests.


The President and Mrs Tan will then visit the University of Bristol where The President will launch the ‘SPHERE (Sensor Platform for Healthcare in a Residential Environment) eHealth Hackathon’.

Meeting competition entrants, both The President and Mrs Tan will also view presentations on innovative research in the field of personal healthcare technology. The President will also be a witness to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Bristol and Nanyang Technical University (NTU) in Singapore, in order to create a partnership in Healthcare Technology Research. President Tan will also meet with Singaporean students who are studying in Bristol during his visit.

After this, the Presidential party will visit Aardman Animations, where they will be welcomed by the Co-Founders of Aardman, Peter Lord and David Sproxton, and by the Chief Executive and Director of English Language of the British Council, Sir Martin Davidson.

The British Council, in partnership with Aardman, plan to open English Language Learning Centres for children aged three to six in Singapore from January 2015 and The President and Mrs Tan will be briefed on the new partnership, along with hearing about the UK’s creative industry. Following the briefing, His Excellency and Mrs Tan will visit Aardman studios.

Friday 24th October 2014


Visiting the Royal Botantical Gardens in Kew, London, The President and Mrs Tan will take a tour highlighting the long-standing relationship between the Gardens and Singapore.

During the visit, a joint programme of work between The Carbon Trust and Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS) will be announced. The programme aims to enhance the application of energy-efficient practices amongst small and medium-sized businesses in Singapore.


His Excellency will then visit Lloyd’s of London. The President will take part in a tour of the trading floors and attend a working lunch with key stakeholders. Lloyd’s and the Singaporean Government are looking into ways to further enhance Lloyd’s presence in the Singaporean business market.

President Tan will later visit Imperial College London, where he will discuss Imperial’s joint medical school with Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Meeting some of Impereial College’s 400 Singaporean students, His Excellency will learn about phenome research, big data technology, cybersecurity, and the College’s new modern campus, Imperial West.


On behalf of The Queen, The Viscount Hood, Lord-in-Waiting, will bid farewell to His Excellency and Mrs Tan at the Royal Garden Hotel in the evening.

Royal Central will be providing ongoing coverage of the State Visit, with photographs of the various engagements wherever possible.

To stay up-to-date with the State Visit, ensure you are following us on Twitter: @RoyalCentral.

Featured photo credit: Chris March via photopin cc

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