KUALA LUMPUR: Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, has stressed the importance of specialised medical care for seriously ill children in her first speech outside the United Kingdom.

The wife of Prince William said on Thursday while visiting a Malaysian hospice that “lives can be transformed” by providing places of support for child patients and their families.

The royal couple is on a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific in celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s diamond jubilee.

William and Kate arrived in Malaysia on Thursday after visiting Singapore. They had lunch with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and other government officials before visiting a hospice in a Kuala Lumpur suburb.

Kate delivered a short speech from a prepared text. She read slowly, looking up and smiling occasionally at the hospice’s staff and patients.—AP

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