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Royals carried on wooden thrones in Tuvalu

00:30 Wed Sep 19 2012
The young British royals continue their island-hopping tour in Tuvalu, a tiny nation under threat from rising sea levels
The young British royals continue their island-hopping tour in Tuvalu, a tiny nation under threat from rising sea levels (Getty)

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been transported on portable thrones from their plane after arriving on a remote Pacific island, as they rose above the topless photo scandal in Europe to finish their royal tour on a high note.

About 25 grass-skirted men carried William and Kate on a platform fitted out with two wooden thrones under a thatched roof adorned with coloured streamers, after their silver jet touched down in tiny Tuvalu on Tuesday.

About 500 people - half of the population of the island cluster halfway between Australia and Hawaii - turned out to greet the future king and his wife, who have spent the past eight days travelling across Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

It was a rousing tribal welcome for the pair, who will spend the night in a two bedroom apartment belonging to an Australian naval officer on leave.

Throughout the day, ferries packed with locals from Tuvalu's three islands and six distant atolls arrived in the freshly painted capital of Funafuti.

It's the biggest event to happen to the disappearing islands - one of the first places in the world to already feel the impact of climate change from rising sea levels - since Queen Elizabeth, William's grandmother, visited the Pacific nation in 1982.

As part of the royal tour marking her 60 years on the throne, Kate and William were given head garlands and carried to the parliament building where they were welcomed by Governor General Sir Iakoba Taeia Italeli and Prime Minister Willy Telavi.

At a tour of the island's school, Kate joined in with a head, feet and toes song, while William had a go at playing a fast aggressive Tuvalu form of volleyball known as "te ano" before chopping open a coconut with a machete.

At the same time, their lawyers have gone on the offensive in Europe over topless photos of the duchess.

A French court has banned Closer magazine from reselling topless pictures of Kate sunbathing.

The court also ordered the magazine to hand over all files of the pictures to representatives of the royal couple within 24 hours.

The grainy pictures, taken in France last month, were run by an Italian magazine and an Irish newspaper.

A royal source says the couple are moving on from the scandal and enjoying the rest of the tour.

On their last night on the tour, William and Kate will watch a traditional canoe race as well as weaving, making fishing nets, the preparation of garlands and cooking.

A relaxed duke and duchess touched down in Tuvalu from the Solomon Islands.

They had spent the night before in a luxury hand-thatched cottage on a secluded tropical island.

They ate a romantic dinner in the pouring rain on their own private jetty overlooking a lagoon.

"I was astounded at how down-to-earth and lovely they were. They just seemed to love it. They were happy and relaxed," said the resort's co-owner Pamela Kimberly.

Tuvalu consists of only 25 square kilometres of land and a 2011 report found the water level was rising about five millimetres per year around the islands.