Kuala Lumpur (The Star/ANN) - In her maiden speech abroad, the Duchess of Cambridge Catherine Middleton praised Malaysia's palliative care programme for its wonderful work.
She expressed admiration for the work done by Hospis Malaysia's staff in helping patients with life-limiting illnesses.
Dressed in a bespoke duck egg blue dress designed by British designer Jenny Packham, the Duchess said she was thrilled by the warm welcome she and Prince William had received at Hospis Malaysia.
They were greeted on arrival by the royal patron of the initiative Raja Zarith Sofia Sultan Idris Shah, Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai, Hospis Malaysia chairman Brigadier-General (Rtd) Richard Robless and chief executive officer/medical director Dr Ednin Hamzah.
Catherine, who is also royal patron to the East Anglia's Children's Hospices, said: ¿Will and I are hugely excited to be in Malaysia on our first ever visit¿.
Admiring the work done at Hospis Malaysia, she said she had learned through her patronage that delivery of the best paediatric palliative care to children was vital. They also witnessed the launch of Malaysia's ¿National Paediatric Palliative Care Initiative¿ by Liow.
Raja Zarith Sofia said palliative care was not only about pain management, but also served to assure patients that someone cared.
The famous royal couple thrilled the patients as they mingled and chatted with them.
Despite the searing afternoon heat, they looked fresh when they arrived in the afternoon, waving and smiling at the crowd, including children from a nearby kindergarten who gathered outside the hospice grounds.
They waved Malaysian flags and held a banner saying ¿We Love You¿ and ¿Welcome Prince William and Catherine¿.
Prince William and Catherine participated in several activities with the patients as well as unveiled a commemorative plaque.
Hospis Malaysia presented specially-commissioned batik pieces portraying the phalaenopsis orchid motifs to the royal couple.
From there, they left for the British High Commissioner's residence.
They later had an audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Hajah Haminah, as well as attended a royal banquet at Istana Negara.