Rapturous welcome for royal couple

Ealing Times: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have received a rapturous welcome from the people of the Solomon Islands The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have received a rapturous welcome from the people of the Solomon Islands

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have received a rapturous welcome from the people of the Solomon Islands who came out in their tens of thousands to cheer their future King and Queen.

Riding in a symbolic war canoe along palm-tree lined roads and with a garland of flowers around their necks William and Kate appeared a world away from the furore that surrounds the publication of the Duchess's topless photos.

From an open-topped Toyota van decorated to look like a fearsome war vessel they waved and smiled back at the crowds who stood five deep in places.

The screaming well-wishers lined the royal couple's five-mile route from the airport into Honiara - capital of the South Pacific nation - and a police car with lights flashing and its siren blazing led the way to clear the crowds.

Barbara Daufanamae, 21, a student and friend Frances Vahimana, 22, both from Honiara, had waited for hours in sweltering temperatures to see the royals who are touring the region in celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and when they passed were left shaking with excitement.

Ms Daufanamae summed up the mood when she said: "We are just so excited to see them come here. I think almost everyone in Honiara is here.

"This is just so unexpected, it's such a privilege for the country, out of all the countries of the Pacific to have them come here is a privilege. Nothing really happens in town so when some body comes everybody comes out and everybody goes crazy."

The royal couple arrived in the Solomon Islands, where the Queen is head of state, on a chartered plane and received a traditional greeting at the airport both welcoming and fierce.

After meeting the Governor General of the Solomon Islands Sir Frank Kabui, his wife Lady Grace Kabui and Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo a garland of flowers was draped over William and Kate's heads then a slightly intimidating moment followed called a Tukuwaka ceremony.

Men from some of the Islands' nine provinces dressed in loin cloths or small skirts and with their bodies painted ran around the royals aggressively waving sticks and shouting - but their guests seemed unfazed.

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