A Splendid Little Colony: British Singapore 1819 - 1963

Prince of Wales in Singapore

The grand visit of His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, in 1922. The prince, who would later very briefly reign over Britain and the Empire as King Edward VIII in 1936, included Singapore in his tour of the Far Eastern colonies. Coming shortly after the concluded Treaty of Versailles and in the wake of growing calls of “self-determination,” a concept loudly mooted by the American President Woodrow Wilson, this tour and visit had a strong objective to strengthen colonial ties.

The official caption for the postcard reads – “H.R.H. PRINCE OF WALES’ EASTERN TOUR. Singapore – H.R.H.’s great welcome from thousands of school children.” No doubt stage-managed to a great extent, we ought not to under-estimate the popularity of the British royalty in Singapore. Subsequent visits by the future Queen Elizabeth in 1972, 1989 and 2006 and by Prince William and Princess Kate in 2014 were extremely well received. The late Princess Diana was due to visit Singapore in 1997 but died in the tragic car crash just two weeks before that.

Image courtesy of National Museum of Singapore

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by Stephen