Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, were some of the most passionate supporters at the Olympic Games – making appearances at almost every Olympic event.
But in a jubilee year there’s not much rest for the royal couple. While Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, head to our shores in November, Kate and William are experiencing their own Pacific escape with the couple due to visit the island nations of Tuvalu and the Solomon Islands in September.
Kate and Wills’ trip will be the first official visit to Tuvalu since the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh sailed there on the royal yacht Britannia in 1982. The couple will spend two days in each of the countries and are planning to experience the culture and customs of each nation.
“William’s been practicing his dance moves,” Kate said at a reception with the Solomon Islands’ governor general Sir Frank Kabui.
“We're extremely excited. Both of us have never been anywhere near there," William said during the event at London's historic Guildhall.
With the Solomons’ population at around 550,000 and Tuvalu’s at just 10,000, the royals’ plans won’t be as involved as visits to larger nations. However a palace insider says it is important for the royal family to reach out to smaller nations. Preparations are already underway in both nations to prepare for the prestigious visit.
“We have retained some of our performers from the various provinces to ensure that Prince William and Kate get a complete picture of our many diverse cultural groups,” an organiser of the Festival of Pacific Arts told the Solomon Times.
Although the trip will be relatively low-key, it isn’t without risks. With a history of civil unrest, the Solomon Islands is still considered dangerous to visit and Kate and William will receive extensive security. New Zealand and Australian troops contribute to a 200-strong international force in the region, and the royal visit is expected to test the nation’s security.
However a royal insider says the couple are looking forward to a little romantic time while they are away.
“They are really looking forward to the trip, they are thinking of it as a second honeymoon,” says a palace source.
The same month Kate and Wills will also visit Singapore, the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur and then take a trip to the rainforests of Borneo, Indonesia. The couple are expected to follow Prince Charles’ example by highlighting environmental issues in the region.