Kate Gives First Speech Abroad

Kate Gives First Speech Abroad
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Arthur Edwards/Getty

updated 09/13/2012 AT 11:20 AM EDT

originally published 09/13/2012 AT 09:20 AM EDT

It was another big moment for the Duchess of Cambridge – handled with grace and charm.

Kate and her husband, Prince William, arrived in Malaysia on Thursday, where she gave her first public speech outside Britain, thanking the staff of Hospis Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur for their warm welcome and their transformative effect on the children in their care.

"I have learned that delivering the best possible palliative care to children is vital, providing children and their families with a place of support, care and enhancement at a time of great need is simply life-changing," Kate said in her two-minute address. (Watch it below)

"With effective pallative care, life can be transformed," she added.

During her visit to Hospis Malaysia Thursday, Kate also met with Zakwan Anuar, who has acute leukemia, had "almost given up hope," according to his mother. Anuar turned 15 two days ago told the duchess she was "very pretty" as she signed a birthday card for him and told him he was "very, very brave" and "very handsome."

And it had an amazing, uplifting effect on him, his mother Norizan Sulong, said: "It was as if the leukemia had gone."

Malaysia is the second stop for William and Kate, following a visit to Singapore, on their tour of southeast Asia to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.

Dinner with the King & Queen

After her speech, the Duchess donned a designer dress (a white Alexander McQueen gown, which featured the Malaysian flower, hibiscus, in gold detail) for dinner with William and the King of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur.

William confessed to being tired on day four of the nine day tour, though he is excited about visiting Tuvalu where, he said, "We hope to do some fishing and snorkeling. I am very interested in the coral and whale sharks. I have dived with them before and although they are huge, they are very docile creatures."

When the King and Queen arrived, Kate made a low curtsy. She and William were then given gifts: for him there was a gold-encrusted Malay warrior's sword known as a kris; and for her there was a pair of black lace peep toe shoes by the Malaysian equivalent of Jimmy Choo, called Lewre, with a glittering diamante clutch bag and a Batik dress.

The 400 other guests walked into the Deuan Santapan Negara or Royal Banqueting Hall ahead of royal couples, the circular tables laid out around a small stage upon which a table for the royal party was laid out.

The rectangular table was covered with garlands of English flowers, including roses and daisies.

The meal was described as a fusion of English and Asian cuisine. No alcohol was served although guests were offered sweet fruit juices and water.
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