After a quiet night in the Solomon Islands, she and William crank it up a notch in Tuvalu

By Simon Perry
Updated September 18, 2012 09:20 AM
Arthur Edwards/Getty

The Duchess of Cambridge has been trying on local fashions during her time in Asia. And she looked smashing Tuesday in the most traditional clothing imaginable – a colorful Polynesian-style grass skirt – on a visit to the island of Tuvalu.

She and her husband, Prince William, said “talofa” (“hello”) to the tiny and remote South Pacific nation, where they were given a royal welcome – transported in a leaf-topped shoulder-high carriage by more than 25 men in pandanus leaf skirts.

In the evening, they joined local chiefs for an exuberant celebration of food and dancing, with Kate getting to her feet time after time – William a little less often – to join the performers in swaying her hips and arms in time to the music.

They also took part in a custom whereby dignitaries spray perfume or scent on dancers as a mark of respect and gratitude. The couple brought a bottle of Paul Smith London for Men, which they used shower the performers.

The high-energy evening was a marked contrast from Monday night, when William and Kate enjoyed some alone time during a relaxing overnight stay on Tavanipupu, one of the Solomon Islands.

A little rain – actually, heavy tropical showers – didn’t dampen their spirits in Tavanipupu, as they went snorkeling, sipped piña coladas and enjoyed a romantic dinner under a bamboo canopy on a private jetty at an island resort.

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

The Tuvalu visit came on the last full day of the royal couple’s tour of southeast Asia, which has happened to coincide with the furor over the publication of photos of Kate sunbathing topless.