5 Aug 2008

Solomons awards visiting Duke highest honour

10:21 am on 5 August 2008

The Duke of Gloucester has been awarded one of the Solomon Islands highest honours - the Star of Solomon Islands.

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester are on a tour of the country, having last been in Solomon Islands in 1978, when it declared independence from Britain.

The Governor General Sir Nathaniel Waena presented the award in front of hundreds who had gathered to see the royal couple at Lawson Tama Stadium.

Sir Nathaniel said the award was a gesture of sincerity for the Duke's keen interest in the Solomon Islands.

The Duke of Gloucester said Solomon Islands had grown since his last visit but it would be the next 30 years that would be vital for the country's future.

"I hope this won't be my last visit, but it is an opportunity to revive old friendships and to discover the different ways in which you are going to progress into the future."

The Duke will address the Solomon Islands Parliament today, and the tour concludes on Wednesday