20 Dec 2011

Tuvalu looks forward to royal visit

4:42 pm on 20 December 2011

A multi-million dollar refurbishment of Tuvalu's airport is unlikely to be ready in time for the British royal visit next year.

The Prime Minister of Tuvalu Willy Telavi says Buckingham Palace has yet to confirm when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will arrive but their tour is likely to be early in the year before the June upgrade of the airport.

He says he has a special team working on a programme for the visit which is part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Mr Telavi says the welcome is sure to include traditional feasting and dancing and perhaps a tour of a conservation area.

He says the Queen was the last British royal to visit in 1982.

"We did a lot of preparation to receive the queen. She came on her yacht, came through the passage of the lagoon and she was taken ashore and she was received by a fleet of canoes to bring her ashore."

Willy Telavi says Prince William and Kate's visit will be preceded by that of the Australian Governor General, Quentin Bryce, in late March.