The Duchess of Cambridge shines brighter than ever, tells veteran royal reporter JUDY WADE from the South Pacific.
As the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William swayed their hips and waved their hands to exotic music in remote Tuvalu, it was clear they were settling into the swing of island life. Crowned with flower garlands instead of royal jewels, Kate was letting the relaxing sea breezes and friendly crowds go to her head.
Following the topless photo furore in France the week before, the tiny South Pacific island nation proved the ideal place to summon up her courage and, in true British style, to keep calm and carry on.
That’s exactly what she did in the greatest example of grace under pressure I have ever seen from any royal. While most girls in such an embarrassing pickle would want to dive under the covers and stay out of sight, Kate had no choice but to keep a poker face. But with William’s support, she focused on continuing the royal tour, facing cameras from all around the world.
No-one would have guessed that she had a care in the world when she attended a Sunday evening service at St Barnabas Cathedral in the Solomon Islands capital of Honiara. The generator that kept the lights blazing cut out four times sitting near Kate and found it hard not to laugh when we were left in the dark again and again. But ever professional Kate kept a straight face, charmed everyone and was the picture of a perfect princess.
That was until the next day, when she couldn’t contain a giggle when she saw topless dancers at a festival. “What’s the fuss about?” one native woman asked. “We all go topless here.” I have learned by travelling around the world with Kate that she is a strong character. I couldn’t help but compare her cool composure with how William’s mother Princess Diana reacted when she was faced with similar situations. Diana would let us know how angry she felt. Kate didn’t. She took it all in her stride.
See more pictures in our special official Royal Tour Album in this week's Woman’s Day on sale Monday September 24, 2012.
Related video: Kate and Wills hula dance.