The personal highlight of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's offical tour of Malaysia was their September 15 visit to Sabah province's rainforest in Borneo, “The Telegraph” reported Sunday. As the topless Duchess scandal exploded around their heads, Prince William made a small quip after being yanked up into the treetops on pulleys and ropes that he'd just spotted a “spy in the tree.”
The couple looked grim as they entered Malaysia, having just been informed that French magazine “Closer” had just published pictures of the Duchess sunbathing topless—apparently from a public road, but half a mile away.
Regardless, the Royals put on their best smiles and fashions for two and a half days in Malaysia, which included the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's first mosque, the Duchess' first overseas speech, a tea party for the British Chamber of Commerce at the High Commission, and a state dinner with Malaysia's leaders, King Agong and Queen Raja Persaisuri.
The couple took the time in Borneo to talk to scientists and hear about their work, including time spent with the elusive orang-utan—they later spotted a family. Part of the discussions centered around deforestation in the rain forest, a matter than had stirred up some controversy ahead of the visit, according to “The Daily Mail.”
The Duchess of Cambridge managed to pick up a leech in the subsequent rainforest walk, but according to their guide, Dr. Reynolds, “dealt with it very calmly and just bent down and picked it off.”
Earlier in the visit, the Duchess of Cambridge gave her first overseas speech, and only her second overall, when she praised workers at Hospis Malaysia, one of the country's few hospices for terminally ill children. According to the BBC, the prince and Duchess of Cambridge met with staff and children; the Duchess is patron of East Anglia's Children's Hospices and the value of such organizations formed part of her speech.
On Saturday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Assyakarin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur. She added a white wrap-around headdress per tradition, and both she and the prince took off their shoes for the tour. According to “The Telegraph,” Assyakarin Mosque can accommodate up to 12,000 worshipers at one time.
Get British Royal Family news by subscribing to this column or using the RSS feed. Linda Gentile is the British Royal Family Examiner and you can also follow on Twitter and Facebook. And, for yet more British life and culture, check out Linda's British Life column.