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Royals bid fond farewell to Pacific

Published: 9:06AM Wednesday September 19, 2012 Source: ONE News / AAP

Prince William and his wife Catherine have ended their Jubilee visit to the Asia-Pacific region with a joyful evening ceremony in one of the world's smallest and most isolated nations, Tuvalu.

While visiting, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were taken on a tour of the tiny town of Funafuti, visiting the local school, playing some volleyball and meeting local chiefs.

They visited the University of the South Pacific Tuvalu Campus, before going to a model village showing the traditional lifestyles of people on the islands.

The pair also planted two coconut trees to mark their visit to Tuvalu in the grounds of the Governor General's Residence and saw the coconut tree planted by the Queen during her 1982 visit.

Their evening involved a banquet of traditional foods and dancing, with the future King not hesitating to don a grass skirt to dance with the locals.

A barefoot Duchess wore a long flowing dress by Angela Temperley under a grass skirt with a floral crown.

After eight days spent travelling to Singapore, Malaysia and Solomon Islands, William said Tuvalu was the highlight of their tour marking the Queen's 60 years on the throne.
"It is precisely because of the Queen's deep love for this place and the stories we have heard from her about its great natural beauty, its rich culture and the friendliness and character of its people that Catherine and I have been so looking forward to our visit," he said.

The couple have not allowed the recent nude photo scandal to mar their tour, but welcomed a judge's ruling forbidding further publishing topless photographs of Catherine.

The pictures were taken while the royal couple were on holiday in a chateau in southern France before their nine-day tour of Asia and the South Pacific. Buckingham Palace called the photo spread a "grotesque" invasion of the couple's privacy.

Injunction welcomed 

The court in Nanterre, near Paris granted an injunction to the Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge, banning France's Closer magazine from further publishing topless photographs of Catherine and ordering it to hand the pictures over to the royal couple.

The injunction also prevents Closer from selling the pictures to other media.

The court earlier opened a criminal investigation into charges that the photographer who took the shots and Closer breached the privacy of the prince and his wife.

"The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcome the judge's ruling," a spokeswoman for the royal couple said.

Closer will be fined 10,000 euros ($13,100) per day of delay in handing over the images, the court said in the civil ruling. The couple are also seeking damages from the weekly over its publication of the photographs in a five-page spread on Friday.

The pictures were taken while the couple were on holiday in a chateau in southern France and show the duchess slipping off her bikini top, relaxing on a sun lounger and at one point pulling down the back of her bikini bottoms.

British newspapers, fighting for their reputation after a string of scandals, have agreed not to publish the images, as has the British edition of Closer, which is managed separately.

The Sun tabloid screamed: "Find Le Rat" on its front page and said the photographer would be found and face jail.

The court said police would investigate whether there were grounds for criminal charges against Closer and its publisher, Italy's Mondadori, and the photographer.

On Monday, the publisher of tabloid The Irish Daily Star suspended its editor after the newspaper broke ranks with Irish and British peers, publishing pages from Closer with the photographs in its Saturday edition.

Italian gossip magazine Chi, also published by Mondadori, printed a 26-page special edition dedicated to the pictures on Monday.