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Last Updated: Friday, 17 March 2006, 16:35 GMT
Queen retraces steps in Singapore
The Queen
The Queen was surprised to be drinking out of the same glass she used in 1972
The Queen has been reunited with a Singapore family she met on a visit to the island republic 34 years ago.

At the start of a two-day state visit, the Queen visited Thomas Pung, now 66, and met several of his family members.

She was presented with a glass she drank from when she visited the Pung family in 1972 with the Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Anne.

The Queen later made a speech at a banquet held in her honour by Singapore President S R Nathan.

Mr Pung said after the visit: "When I look in her eyes she's still very beautiful at her age, almost 80 years old.

Britain has been a close friend of Singapore for almost two hundred years
The Queen

"So I was telling her, 'You are still very fit and young, it's only your age that's different.' She was very happy, she was laughing all the way."

During the 1972 visit, Mr Pung showed the Queen around his home which he shared with his middle-aged mother who has since died.

Happy

He said: "I never expected the Queen to come back to see me again, so today [Friday] I was very happy."

He explained that during their first visit Princess Anne, Prince Philip and the Queen asked for a drink and were given a fizzy drink.

That was despite earlier being advised not to give the Royals a drink, Mr Pung said.

"We had been told beforehand not to give them a drink but she asked for it, so we gave it to her," he said.

Mr Pung's mother had later suggested keeping the glasses for sentimental value.

During the latest visit, Mr Pung introduced the Queen to his family: wife Limpoh Siock, 65, son Ivan Michael, 29, daughter Genevieve, 33, and her husband Melvin Tan 35.

The Queen inspecting the guard of honour in Singapore
The Queen, followed by Mr Nathan, inspects a guard of honour

His daughter presented the Queen with the glass, which contained water and was decorated with flowers.

Mr Pung asked the Queen: "Do you remember we gave you a glass of lemonade? This is the same cup you drank from."

The Queen looked at the glass and said "extraordinary" before adding that it was an "interesting" idea.

The Queen earlier watched an "auspicious" lion and dragon dance performed to a drum beat and started a Malay game of Sepak Takraw on the estate where the Pung family lived.

Speech

At the banquet held in her honour, the Queen said: "Britain has been a close friend of Singapore for almost two hundred years.

"We are proud of our historical and Commonwealth links and as we look to the future we share a common vision of the societies we would like for our young people - safe, environmentally friendly and full of opportunity."

She added: "Our political, defence and trading ties go from strength to strength."

The queen and Prince Philip also laid a wreath at the Singapore Cenotaph and lunched with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the first day of the visit.




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