18 Sep 2012

Months of royal preparation come to fruition in Tuvalu

1:37 pm on 18 September 2012

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will reap the benefits of months of work by the people of Tuvalu when they arrive on the main island of Funafuti in about half-an-hour's time.

Radio Tuvalu's news editor says people have been given two days' holiday to mark the visit by Prince William and his wife Catherine and thousands will be there to watch them carried from their aeroplane by throne.

Silafaga Lalua says a special village has been constructed with houses built in the style of each of Tuvalu's nine islands and women have spent months making handicrafts.

"All the islands are ready with their roles to play, you know what they have been tasked to do. We have been rehearsing for a while now, and people have been preparing for months. So I guess everyone is just waiting for the couple to come."

Silafaga Lalua says people in Tuvalu feel honoured to be part of the royal tour but are disappointed they will not be allowed to shake the couple's hands.

She says that was not the case when the Queen and her husband Prince Philip visited the country 30 years ago.