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Royals unfazed by topless islanders
The Duchess of Cambridge talks to a woman in traditional outfit in Honiara, Solomon Islands (AP/Daniel Munoz)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have come face to face with a group of topless South Pacific women and did not bat an eyelid when introduced.
Wearing just a few banana leaves as a makeshift top the group performed a dance with men from their region as they showcased their culture for the royals.
Their exposed breasts are a normal part of life in the Solomon Islands' province of Choiseul, where the women are from, and they happily chatted to William and Kate who seemed completely at ease in their company. One man among their group had a greeting written in pidgin English painted on his chest for the royals - Welkam Wills and Kate.
The royal couple met the performers when they toured a cultural village exhibition in Honiara, capital of the Solomon Islands, showcasing the unique arts, music and culture found in the nation's nine provinces.
William and Kate were animated and looked relaxed throughout their visit and appeared to have moved on from the furore surrounding the publication of topless pictures of the Duchess, taken while on a private holiday in France last week with William.
A civil action has already been launched by the royals against the French magazine Closer which printed the images and later today the Duke and Duchess will ask France's criminal prosecutors to consider charging the photographer who took the intimate pictures. The couple's lawyers will make a formal criminal complaint to the prosecutor over an invasion of their privacy, St James's Palace said. Once the complaint is made, it is up to the prosecutor to investigate and possibly lay charges over the notorious images published last week.
The royal couple began their day by calling on the Solomon Islands' prime minister and his cabinet and were given a traditional necklace by the politician.
Gordon Darcy Lilo warmly welcomed them to the government building before presenting them with the gifts bearing their names - Prince William and Princess Kate. Made of tiny coloured sea shells woven together, they formed a piece of jewellery which resembled a mayor's chain of office. As the prime minister placed the gifts around their necks, the Duchess said: "That's very smart", and the Duke replied: "It is smart."
Speaking about the presents, the Solomon Islands' leader told the royal visitors: "That will show that the whole of this country is very much part of you." And when the trio posed for a picture, the politician joked that the photograph would allow the Queen "to see you're here", and the Duke added: "Checking up on us."
The group then moved to the Cabinet Room where the ministers were arranged along one side of a huge table waiting to meet the royal couple who then chatted to each person in turn. Before leaving, William took a seat at the head of the table for a group photograph flanked by the prime minister and Kate, dressed in a yellow Jaeger dress, with the ministers behind. The Duke made the group laugh by banging the table with his hand and saying: "Where's the agenda?"