Malaysia Day marks the end of the four-day vacation to the southeast Asian nation for Prince William and Kate Middleton, one in which their relaxing trip was marred by a scandal back west.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent the end of their four-day trip to Malaysia by visiting North Borneo’s tropical rain forest, the Asia News Network reported.
The royal couple wore khaki pants, safari shirts, and boots as they climbed high above the ground to explore the treetops of the jungle, the report noted. Later they walked along a canopy walkway and took in the natural wonders of the jungle.
The trip wasn’t all fun and games. Prince William, a Royal Society fellow, spent time talking to a group of British and Malaysian scientists and Oxford University students who were carrying out environmental research projects in the jungle.
The couple was particularly interested in forest conservation efforts as well as the local wildlife like orangutans and probiscis monkeys, said Sabah Forestry Department director Datuk Sam Mannan.
“They were also keen to know about our restoration work. This visit is a great motivating factor for us,” he said, adding that the royal couple’s visit could help give his work a higher profile.
But Prince William and Kate Middleton likely wish they could remain right through to Malaysia Day. While on the trip, they were bested by scandal back home, as the French magazine Closer ran topless pictures of Kate Middleton taken while she was at a private residence in a vacation home.
Malaysia Day is celebrated September 16 and commemorates the day that Malaysia’s largest state, Sarawak, and Sabah on Borneo Island joined the federation of Malaya in 1963, six years after the country’s independence from Britain, Free Malaysia Today News noted.
Though Malaysia Day is celebratory to some, the states that joined Malaysia in 1963 are among the poorest in the nation despite rich resources, and the day stirs up some controversy and resentment there.