Orchid named after Will and Kate

It is not everyday that royalty visits the National Orchid Garden.

Today, His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge made it the first stop in their Asia Pacific tour to commemorate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee this year.

To mark this occasion, Mr Poon Hong Yuen, Chief Executive Officer of the National Parks Board, presented the Royal Couple with an orchid named after them - Vanda William Catherine.

Vanda William Catherine (Vanda First and Last x Vanda Motes Toledo Blue) is a stunning free-flowering orchid hybrid. Each flowering spray can grow to 25 to 35 centimetres in length and bear up to 10 blooms. Each individual flower is approximately 7 to 8 centimetres across and features attractive white petals and sepals with purple red spots, complemented with an outstanding dark purple lip.

The Duke and Duchess, more commonly referred to as William and Kate, also viewed two orchids of significance to the family - Dendrobium Queen Elizabeth II and Dendrobium Memoria Princess Diana.

Dendrobium Queen Elizabeth II was named after Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom during her visit to the Singapore Botanic Gardens in 1972. Dendrobium Memoria Princess Diana was named in 1997 in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales.

"The Singapore Botanic Gardens is very honoured to host the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for this visit. Singapore has a longstanding tradition of naming orchids after important guests. It is especially significant that we are able to name an orchid after Their Royal Highnesses, having named orchids after Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as well as the late Princess of Wales," said Mr Poon.

Other special guests have also received the same honour, with Singapore Botanic Gardens housing VIP orchids named after state dignitaries such as Paravanda Nelson Mandela and Dendrobium Margaret Thatcher, as well as celebrity orchids such as Dendrobium Jackie Chan.


ellenja@sph.com.sg

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