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Day Nine of the Autumn Tour: Malaysia

7th November 2017

Her Royal Highness with two Chinese opera performers during a visit to Teochew Puppet and Opera House

Her Royal Highness with two Chinese opera performers during a visit to Teochew Puppet and Opera House


The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall experienced four religions in one day today on what is colloquially known as the Street of Harmony. Their Royal Highnesses 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.

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 that were mirrored by beautiful carvings of gods inside.

Following tradition, The Prince and The Duchess 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.

On visiting the Kapitan Keling Mosque, Their Royal Highnesses again removed their shoes for a brief tour of the building and The Duchess covered her head with a scarf as a mark of respect.

The historic building stands on the site of a previous mosque and as they entered the place of worship waiting to greet the royal couple was its oldest surviving former imam, Abdullah Bukhari aged 84.

At St George's Church, an early 19th century structure, Their Royal Highnesses heard about the history of the building that was looted and ransacked during the Japanese occupation of Penang in the Second World War.

Finally, at the Han Jiang Ancestral Temple they were greeted by a dramatic lion dance performance before their brief tour.

In the afternoon, The Duchess of Cornwall showed off her thespian side when she visited the Teochew Puppet and Opera House, which aims to preserve traditional Chinese skills from its home in Penang, Malaysia.

Greeted by Ling Goh, founder and director of the museum, and assistant director Chai Lin, The Duchess posed for a photograph with the women who were wearing the elaborate make-up, headdresses and colourful costumes of Chinese opera performers.

Moving inside, Her Royal Highness was shown instruments including cymbals and drums, asking how they were made, while puppets and props lined the walls.

The Prince of Wales sits for a group photo with members of the Royal Malaysian Air Force

The Prince of Wales sits for a group photo with members of the Royal Malaysian Air Force

Meanwhile, The Prince of Wales went to visit the Royal Malaysia Armed Forces Butterworth base, where The Prince praised the efforts of a British amateur diver who has been helping to safeguard two historic

Second World War battleships sunk off the Malaysian coast.

Stephen Flew, 54, has been diving to the wrecks for personal enjoyment and to help keep a look-out for scrap metal scavengers who have already begun to target the vessels now teeming with marine life.

The Royal Navy battleships HMS Prince of Wales, where Churchill and Roosevelt signed the Atlantic Charter, and HMS Repulse both sank near Kuantan, Pahang, on December 10, 1941.

His Royal Highness then went on to shake hands with five members of the Malaysian military who work to protect the shipwrecks, asking them where and how they train.