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Britain’s Catherine gives first public speech overseas

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By Elizabeth Yuan, CNN

(CNN) – Britain’s Prince William and his wife, Catherine, arrived Thursday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where the Duchess of Cambridge gave her first public speech outside the UK.

It is the royal couple’s second stop in their southeast Asian tour of Commonwealth nations to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.

The duke and duchess ended their earlier visit in Singapore by paying their respects at the Kranji War Cemetery, a former site of a prisoner of war camp when the Japanese occupied Singapore during WWII. The war cemetery now holds the graves of nearly 4,500 Commonwealth casualties, including 850 that remain unidentified.

They laid a wreath and also stopped at the Singapore Memorial, which honors the 24,000 casualties of Commonwealth land and air forces in southern Asia who have no known grave.

The couple then took a short flight to Kuala Lumpur, where they had lunch with Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak at his official residence, the Seri Perdana.

Afterwards, the couple visited Hospis Malaysia, a hospice for terminally ill children and adults. While there, the duchess — the patron of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices — addressed patients and staff in her second ever public speech, drawing on her observations of palliative care in the UK.

To cap the couple’s first day in the country, they’ll attend a dinner hosted by Malaysia’s king, queen and Sultan of Kedah at the royal residence, the Istana Negara, with about 400 guests, according to St. James’s Palace in the UK.

On Friday morning, they’ll meet the public at a free event at KLCC Park in the city center.

The royal couple will be in Malaysia until Sunday before heading to the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

CNN’s Liz Neisloss contributed to this report.