Pacific calm amid topless Kate photos storm

PALOMA MIGONE
Last updated 11:16 17/09/2012
Reuters

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and his wife Kate, arrive in the Solomon Islands as part of their tour of Asia.

Kate and William in the Solomon Islands
Reuters Zoom
Kate and William ride a traditional war canoe as they arrive in Tavanipupu, Solomon Islands.

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As lawyers initiate criminal proceedings in a French Court over the Duchess of Cambridge's topless photos, Prince William and Kate have been given a royal feast in the Solomon Islands.

The couple were treated to a traditional island dinner which included roast pig, fish and cassava pudding at Government House, hosted by Governor-General Sir Frank Kabui.

Kiwi Alice Banfield, who is in the Solomon Islands for a year as a World Vision volunteer, got to attend the dinner and sat a few tables away from the royal couple.

She said it was a "great opportunity to see the prince and duchess up close".

"It was definitely pretty special," she said. "When they came in, we all stood up and welcomed them. There were some pan pipers and dancers,'' she said.

The duchess looked "gorgeous" and was wearing a bright pink and orange batik design dress given to her by her hosts.

Hundreds of people attended, so Banfield found it too hard to meet them and have a conversation.

"It was a pity that we didn't get to talk to them," she said.

"They spent most of the time speaking to the prime minister and governor general," Banfield said.

Prince William gave a "lovely and positive" speech, saying his grandmother, the Queen, had fond memories of the Solomon Islands.

"Our expectations were pretty high after what the queen had told us, but nothing had prepared us for the welcome we received," the prince had said.

Prince William and the duchess arrived in the Pacific island yesterday, when tens of thousands of locals turned out to watch them into town in an open-top truck.

Under a thatched roof adorned with frangipani flowers, shells and feathers, William and Kate smiled and waved from the top of a Toyota transformed into black and turquoise canoe.

It took them along the 8km route from the airport to St Barnabas Cathedral, where a Jubilee thanksgiving service was interrupted by a brief power outage.

Today, the royals kicked-off their day with a visit to the prime minister's office before visiting a cultural village.

The prince will then give a speech at a Commonwealth youth conference while Kate visits a women's groups.

They meet up again to visit a memorial to the Coast Watchers ahead of a lunch in aid of Solomon Island charities.

They will then board a flight to Marau, from where they will travel by boat to the island of Marapa.

A war canoe will take them on to Tavanipupu where they will spend the night in a remote resort.

The royal couple are visiting the Solomon Islands as part of a nine-day Southeast Asia and Pacific tour marking Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee

- WITH AAP

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