Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were honoured with luxurious silk shawls and garlands of sandal wood as they experienced four religions in one day.
The couple visited places of worship belonging to the Christian, Muslim, Chinese and Hindu communities in the Penang capital George Town as they celebrated the Malaysian city’s diverse residents.
Strolling down what is colloquially known as the Street of Harmony, the royal couple walked from a mosque to the temples as backpackers and shop keepers stopped to capture the unannounced visit on their mobile phones.
Drummers and other musicians led the way as they walked to the Sri Mahamariamman Hindu temple, completed in 1833, that was ornately decorated with colourful statues and beautiful carvings of gods inside.
Prince Charles and Camilla donned traditional garlands and flowers as they visited the Sri Mahamariamman Temple in Penang, Malaysia during their tour
Following tradition, Charles and Camilla removed their shoes and were given a brief tour of the place of worship before shimmering gold coloured shawls were placed around their shoulders and matching garlands draped around their necks.
Preveena Balakrishnan, a local historian and hindu, said: ‘We wanted to have a fragrant garland so we chose sandal wood, flower garlands will fade and die.
‘The silk shawls are given to Kings and Queens and we believe silk has the power to attract positive vibes.’
Outside the couple posed for photographs, with an impatient Camilla amusingly tapping her husband smartly on the arm to get his attention so that they could pose – probably the only woman in the world who could get away with it.
Earlier in the day the couple visited St George’s Church, the oldest Anglican Church in South East Asia, a Muslim mosque where they met leaders and planted a tree, a Teochew Chinese Temple where they watched a colourful lion dance.
The visit was intended to show the religious diversity of Malaysia, showing how different faiths can live in peace and prosperity.
Following tradition, Charles and Camilla removed their shoes and were given a brief tour of the place of worship
Camilla visited the Teochew Puppet and Opera House, where she posed with two of the elaborately costumed performers. Unique to the state of Penang, Teochew puppetry and opera came to Malaysia from the Teochew people, who emigrated from China in the 19th century
The Duchess of Cornwall receives a bouquet from schoolchildren during her arrival at the Kapitan Keling Mosque in George Town, the capital of Malaysia’s Penang state
The royal couple walked from a mosque to the temples as backpackers and shop keepers stopped to capture the unannounced visit on their mobile phones
The 800m road known as the Street of Harmony, reflects the migrant communities which moved to Penang during the British Administration when it was a bustling trading port.
Later Camilla visited the Teochew Puppet and Opera House, where she posed with two of the elaborately costumed performers.
Unique to the state of Penang, Teochew puppetry and opera came to Malaysia from the Teochew people, who emigrated from China in the 19th century.
Traditionally, Teochew puppetry troupes consist of nine members divided into groups of three to handle puppets, sing and play musical instruments.
The musical ensemble uses the same instruments as a regular Teochew opera troupe — gongs, drums, cymbals, dulcimer, fiddle and a traditional Chinese instrument made from coconut shells.
Camilla also happily took the starring role in an impromptu shadow puppet show, as she showed off her skills in a short play.
The 800m road known as the Street of Harmony, reflects the migrant communities which moved to Penang during the British Administration when it was a bustling trading port
The couple looked lovingly at each other as they visited places of worship belonging to the Christian, Muslim, Chinese and Hindu communities in the Penang capital George Town as they celebrated the Malaysian city’s diverse residents
Camilla kept cool in a chic cream ensemble and wedged shoes while her husband looked dapper in a grey suit
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall sign the guestbook during a visit to Sarawak Cultural Village on the latest leg of their tour of the Far East
PRINCE CHARLES THANKS DIVER WHO PROTECTED WAT
Prince Charles has thanked a British diver who has helped protect the wreck of a Second World War ship bearing his name from ‘awful’ looters.
The Prince, on a visit to RAF Butterworth in Penang, said his work in quietly preventing the ship, which is Crown property, being stripped for scrap metal was ‘marvellous’ and ‘so appreciated’.
As a sign of his thanks he gave Stephen Flew, a 54-year-old petroleum engineer originally from Swansea who has voluntarily dived the wreck for 18 years, and the Malaysian Navy a signed photograph of HMS Prince of Wales in 1941 with its crew to them as a gift.
Royal Navy battleships HMS Prince of Wales, where Churchill and Roosevelt signed the Atlantic Charter, and HMS Repulse both sank off the east coast of Malaya, near Kuantan, Pahang, on December 10, 1941.
Part of Force Z, it was intended to intercept the Japanese invasion fleet but instead, with no air cover, were attacked in open water and sunk by long-range torpedo bombs.
Admiral Sir Tom Phillips went down with the ship, becoming the highest ranking Allied officer killed in battle in the Second World War and causing
The two ships sank with 840 sailors, and now exist as war graves on the ocean floor.
In recent years, they have become a target for looters who anchor small boats above them and use homemade explosives to loosen and then steal their metal.
The Royal Navy wrecks are Crown property, and looked after by the Royal Malaysia Navy which cooperates with the British High Commission to protect them.
They are aided by divers from company Xtreme Divers, with volunteer Mr Flew.
For the last six years, when the problem of looting has become serious, Mr Flew has monitored changes and activity in the ship to report to the British High Commission, who have in turn worked with the Malaysian Navy, Air Force and coastguard to patrol the seas.
The Prince, a diver and former president of the British Sub-Aqua Club, thanked volunteers and the military, telling them he appreciated their work ‘trying to keep these awful people away’.
‘I can’t thank you enough for your fantastic work,’ he said. ‘It’s so appreciated’.
The Prince of Wales sits for a group photo with members of the Royal Malaysian Air Force and Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force and Navy, during a visit to Royal Malaysia Armed Forces Butterworth base in Penang, Malaysia
Greeted by Ling Goh, founder and director of museum, and assistant director Chai Lin, the Duchess posed for a photograph with the ladies in traditional dress.
Moving inside, she was shown instruments including cymbals and drums, asking how they were made.
Told Ling Glh’s family had been puppeteers for five generations, she exclaimed: ‘Its a family affair.’
Directed to a table, she was shown shadow puppets and, when invited, picked one up to see how it worked.
Pauline Fan, creative director of cultural organisation Pusaka explained that the story had been adapted from the Ramayana ancient Indian folk tale Rama and Sita.
The Malaysian version tells the story of a Princess, played by the Duchess’ puppet, who is kidnapped by an ogre king. Instructed by her beloved, she is eventually saved by an army of monkey warriors.
The Duchess appeared to thoroughly enjoy herself, gamely moving the puppets arms to play along.
She then moved to listen to a yang quing instrument being played and admire ornate opera headdresses, before sitting down to take in a puppet show from be professionals.
Afterwards, she was given a second try at joining in, this time with a stringed puppet.
The Prince of Wales plants a tree during a visit to the Sarawak Biodiversity Centre in Kuching, Malaysia, left. Meanwhile, the Duchess of Cornwall arrives at the Kapitan Keling Mosque in Penang, Malaysia
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall wave goodbye from Kuching International Airport in Sarawak, Malaysia, after their visit
Successfully manipulating its limbs with the string, she appeared pleased and surprised, telling onlookers: ‘I could’ve been a puppeteer.’
The Duchess later moved to the cool shade of the China House cafe, a favourite Penang haunt for visitors including Julie Walters who became a regular while filming Indian Summers in the region.
She was shown the cafe’s extraordinary selection of around 40 different cakes, before sitting down with local craftswomen to learn about their skill.
Pulling up a chair next to Lilian Tong, director of the Pinang Peranakan Mansion, the Duchess watched as they deftly embroidered a beaded pattern in a frame.
‘It’s very good,’ she said. ‘So impressive.
‘My husband started a school for traditional arts and now it’s scattered in different countries. I hope they’ll have it here because it conserves there traditions. ‘It’s so lovely to see this, this lovely work still being done.’
Particularly taken with a pair of tiny embroidered slipper-like shoes, she told Mrs Tong: ‘I love bead work, I always have it on my clothes. It’s a great favourite of mine.’
Offered the chance to do some sewing of her own, she tried to do a tentative stitch before apologising for forgetting her glasses.
‘I’m sorry I don’t have my glasses but even if I did have them I’m not a very good sewer,’ she said.
The Duchess also tried her hand at batik painting, creating the beginning of a blue flower while she asked about the coloured ink artists were using.
As her husband embarked his own programme of events focused on heritage and the environment – which included an impromptu walkabout through the islands streets – she took a moment to pause for a cup of tea at China House before an evening reception.
Later the prince visited RAF Butterworth to meet, first opened by the British in October 1941 but now controlled by the Royal Malaysian Air Force.
Among those he met was Squadron Leader Caroline Would, whose husband Wing Commander Colin Would, is the senior British officer there, who taught his son, Prince William, weapons training when he was in the RAF.
Squadron Leader Would, who has now retired, told Charles that she had been William’s instructor in the air warfare centre at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire.
His brother, Prince Harry, was at the base at the same time.
She said afterwards: ‘Prince William was great, really down to earth.
‘He did a three day course with us that had a lot of theory and he slotted straight into it.
‘He made a few jokes at his bodyguard’s expense. He pinched his lunch one day and told us he didn’t need it because he was getting a bit tubby. It was very funny.’
She said she had also done six months on secondment with The Prince’s Trust and Charles has spotted the charity’s pin badge she was wearing.
‘It’s an incredible charity and we have been able to replicate it here, especially with young women,’ she told him.
And then in the evening, Hollywood met royalty as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Bond girl Michelle Yeoh met Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.
Prince Charles and Camilla met Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh as they arrived at Penangs Peranakan Mansion to attend a reception to celebrate Malaysian art and culture
The couple were at a reception to celebrate Malaysian art and culture at Penang’s Peranakan Mansion
The Malaysian-born actress was introduced to the couple at a reception on the last night of their hugely successful six-day visit to her home country.
The couple were at a reception to celebrate Malaysian art and culture at Penang’s Peranakan Mansion.
Built in 1894, Penang Peranakan Mansion was originally the home of Kapitan Cina (Chinese Captain) Chung Keng Kwee and is a glorious example of Malay/Chinese architecture.
Charles, in a lounge suit, and Camilla, in a while flowing Anna Valentine tunic, were greeted by owner Peter Soon and met with the chief minister and governor of Penang, before being introduced to Ms Yeoh, elegant in a pink dress and satin heels.
One guest said: ‘The prince was speaking about how it was the first time he has visited this country and how much he has loved Malaysia’, meanwhile, Camilla appeared to be feeling the heat, right
Eighty reception guests ranged from a diverse arts and cultural background and included Malaysian actress Tan Sri Dato’ Seri and comedian Harith Iskander.
The couple were also treated to a performance on a traditional sape’ stringed instrument by musician and singer Alena Murang, one of the few women in the country to play professionally.
One guest said: ‘The prince was speaking about how it was the first time he has visited this country and how much he has loved Malaysia.
‘He has really connected with the people he has met and has a great understanding of the issues facing us here such as deforestation.’
Prince Charles came face to face with another endangered species in the heart of the Borneo jungle yesterday – a 5ft Orangutan.
He went deep into the rainforest to see the great ape and looked on in awe as six of them came to a feeding station at the Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. The prince, wearing a cream suit and tie, walked over to where one of the apes had descended.
The young adult male then reached out to the prince – who was holding a banana handed to him by one of the guides – and he stretched out his arm too. The prince has long championed the need to save the rainforest. Deforestation is one of the key reasons the Orangutans are endangered.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall enjoyed a jungle adventure today as they travelled into the heart of the Borneo rainforest
Semenggoh is the biggest orangutang rehabilitation centre in the state of Sarawak, 30 km from Kuching.
Visitors can see semi-wild orangutangs that have been rescued from captivity and trained to survive in the surrounding forest reserve.
This exclusively Asian species of great apes, found in only the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra, are currently facing destruction of their habitats due to logging, mining and forest fires, as well as fragmentation of their habitats by roads.
The main goal of the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre is to rehabilitate wildlife captured due to prolonged captivity by humans with the objective of releasing them to the forests eventually.
Charles was briefed on the wildlife conservation work carried out by the centre, and then ushered to a special visitors’ platform to view the orangutangs in their natural surroundings.
The Prince visited the orangutan feeding deck and witnessed how these animals are cared for by the centre’s staff
The orangutangs at the wildlife centre are fed twice daily, and although visitors can view this from a special visitors’ platform, a sighting of animals is not guaranteed as they are often able to find their own food in the surrounding forest.
Currently, there are at least 26 semi-wild orangutangs in Semenggoh in total, roaming free within a 740- hectare forest reserve.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall enjoyed a jungle adventure today as they travelled into the heart of the Borneo rainforest.
The royal couple were greeted by whirling tribal dancers as they arrived at a Sarawak Cultural Village and given gifts of handmade beaded garlands.
It was the first time that either Charles or Camilla have been to Borneo – famed for its endangered orangutans – and both appeared to be delighted.
Camilla and Prince Charles posed with locals in traditional dress during a visit to the Sarawak Cultural Village, where visitors are encouraged to learn through engaging with culture. The couple are on a tour of Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei and India
Accompanied by the Chief Minister of Sarawak and senior managers of the cultural village, the couple were also given a tour of the area, peeking into traditional Sarawak longhouse dwellings and watching cooking and craft demonstrations.
The Sarawak Cultural Village that the couple are visiting is a ‘living museum’ that re-constructs and conserves the traditional lifestyle and architectural diversity of Sarawak’s indigenous tribes.
The seventeen acre site rests at the foot of Mount Santubong and encourages visitors to learn through engaging with culture.
The highlight of their visit, however, was undoubtedly the Iban warrior dance.
Also known as the ngajat, it is performed accompanied by the tabohand gendang, the Ibans’ traditional music.
Upon arrival at the Sarawak Cultural Village, Prince Charles and Camilla were gifted handmade beaded garlands before their tour commenced
The royal couple were greeted by whirling tribal dancers as they arrived at a Sarawak Cultural Village and given gifts of handmade beaded garlands
Prince Charles laughed with locals in traditional dress during a visit to the Sarawak Cultural Village where visitors are encouraged to learn through engaging with culture
The royal couple watched local dancers in traditional dress during a visit to the Sarawak Cultural Village
Prince Charles blows a dart, as Camilla looks on during a visit to the Sarawak Cultural Village
Prince Charles shakes hands with locals in traditional dress during a visit to the Sarawak Cultural Village
The indigenous dance has been passed down from generation to generation and is believed to have been in existence, along with the Iban tribe, since the 16th Century.
The Ngajat dance was traditionally performed by warriors on their return from battles, although it is now performed to celebrate the most important harvest festival, Gawai Dayak, and to welcome important guests to the longhouses.
Traditionally, the male dancers wear a cawat, or loincloth, and a headdress made from the tail feathers of the hornbill.
They hold a long sword in one hand and an ornately decorated shield in the other.
The indigenous dance that the tribe performed for the couple has been passed down from generation to generation and is believed to have been in existence, along with the Iban tribe, since the 16th Century
The Sarawak Cultural Village that the couple are visiting is a ‘living museum’ that re-constructs and conserves the traditional lifestyle
Female dancers have an elaborate headdress, chains, beads and a ‘dress’ that reaches to below their knees with intricate weaving
The dance is now performed to celebrate the most important harvest festival, Gawai Dayak, and to welcome important guests to the longhouses
The Ngajat dance was traditionally performed by warriors on their return from battles
A Melanu bamboo dance was performed before the Prince and the Duchess depart in eye-catching style – on a traditional raft across a lake
Later Charles and Camilla will speak with representatives from local tribes and discuss the preservation of traditional cultures
Female dancers have an elaborate headdress, chains, beads and a ‘dress’ that reaches to below their knees with intricate weaving.
The male dancers make slow movements, as though stalking the enemy, before darting forwards to attack.
The dance is performed accompanied by the music from percussion instruments including the enkeromong, bendai and canang.
Later Charles and Camilla will speak with representatives from local tribes and discuss the preservation of traditional cultures.
A Melanu bamboo dance will be performed before the Prince and the Duchess depart in eye-catching style – on a traditional raft across a lake.
The heir to the throne has helped launch the Forgotten Foods Network – a project to find long-lost and unfashionable foods to feed the world’s booming population and grow in extreme temperatures.
A woman donned traditional dress ahead of the visit by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall to the Sarawak Cultural Village
Royal approval: Prince Charles inspecting superfoods in Malaysia on Friday
It hopes to emulate the success of quinoa, once considered the ‘lost crop of the Incas’, before foodies rediscovered its highly nutritious properties and made it fashionable.
The scheme is now collecting forgotten recipes and testing them for their nutritional value and growing abilities in hotter weather.
During his visit to Crops of the Future, the Malaysian organisation behind the project, Charles tasted some of the recipes, including kevaru roti, a type of millet grown in arid areas of Africa and Asia.
‘They’re good,’ he said. ‘And very nutritious as well, are they?’ Also on the menu were biscotti using bambara groundnut rather than almond, as well as soup, mini-burgers and quiche made from moringa, a superfood dating back to the Ancient Greeks and Romans.
More elaborate dishes included dragon fruit tortellini with turmeric yoghurt and mint oil.
One royal aide said the prince was passionate about the project, while Charles himself said that the focus on finding crops that would grow in the future was ‘crucial for food security over the next 20 years’. He also praised the food project as ‘impressive’ as he launched it during his 11-day visit to South East Asia.
Professor Sayed Azam-Ali, of the Forgotten Foods Network, said: ‘It’s about collecting recipes from as many people as possible from all over the world, and learning from them.’