London, Sept 18: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were carried on a double throne by the locals after they landed on the tiny Pacific island of Tuvalu on the final leg of their tour of the Far East.
The royal couple’s chartered jet touched down on the Polynesian island, which is the fourth-smallest country in the world, in the early hours of this morning, where the island’s entire population of 10,500 appeared to have turned out to welcome them.
The islanders had promised William and Kate would be carried off their aircraft, in keeping with the tradition of carrying visitors who arrive by sea, but the Royal couple had no idea how it would happen until the moment they arrived.
The couple looked delighted when 25 men in traditional Polynesian dress emerged with the home-made double throne, on which they were carried to a tribal hall on the main island of the group for a raucous welcoming ceremony, known as a falekaupule ceremony, the Telegraph reported.
Garlands of flowers were placed on the heads of the Duke and Duchess, like crowns, before the couple began a tour of the main island, according to the paper.
They are the first members of the Royal family to visit the smallest of the Commonwealth realms since the Queen in 1982, and they will be the first to stay overnight on the island, after an Australian naval attache based there offered them the use of his flat while he is on leave.
Tuvalu is the third smallest country in the world in terms of population, after the Vatican City and Nauru, and covers just 10 square miles, making it the fourth smallest in size, after the Vatican, Nauru and Monaco. (ANI)