Friday, 31 August 2012 2:02 PM
A Second Honeymoon in Solomons for Royal Couple
Most couples can't hope to manage a second honeymoon until retirement - if at all, but the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will do exactly that in the tiny island of Tavanipupu in Solomon Islands.
Only 18 months after their honeymoon on the exclusive North Island resort in the Seychelles, the couple are again heading to a deserted paradise island - this time in the South Pacific.
Kate and William will spend a night on privately owned Tavanipupu island, famed for its crystal waters and luxury hand-thatched bungalows, as part of their first official tour on behalf of the Queen.
It is currently up for sale for just over £7.5million. The royal couple are believed to be staying there as guests of the Solomon Islands government, which is anxious to promote tourism in the area.
It is expected they will stay in a £300-a-night hand-thatched bungalow favored by honeymooners which has been built over the crystalline waters of the Coral Sea and boasts a 'majestic' king-sized bed carved out of bamboo.
Each of the resort's eight bungalows has a personal attendant who can be summoned with a tap of a tribal drum.
It says it offers 'decadent king-sized beds, some of the best food on the planet, crystal clear water teeming with life, a relaxing massage over the water [and] "real" local people who wait on you hand and foot??...?in one of the wildest places left on earth.'
The 37-acre island, discovered by Europeans in the 19th century, was once a coconut plantation owned by Norwegian traders.
In the 1970s it was bought by English interior designer Dennis Bellote and his late partner Keith Paske, who turned the overgrown island into a luxury five star resort.
Aides confirmed yesterday that the couple hope to do a little snorkeling before retiring to bed for an early start to Tuvalu the following morning.
Before that the couple will travel to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Borneo and the Solomon Islands, ending their nine-day trip on the South Pacific realm of Tuvalu, the fourth smallest country in the world.
They'll get up close and personal with wild orangutans, have an orchid named after each of them and face the challenge of being carried from a plane in a garlanded canoe.
It will be the biggest test yet of Kate's much-praised fashion sense, as she will need up to 30 different outfits, including one for a trek to the jungle.
The Queen is believed to be lending her several pieces of jewellery including, possibly, one of her favourite tiaras.
Her famous locks will be also well cared for - Prince Charles is privately footing the bill for a freelance hairdresser to travel with them.
And the couple have hired a private jet - paid for by the taxpayer - for part of their trip.
Sources said it would be 'absolutely impossible' to travel to remote Tuvalu and the Solomon Island otherwise. The Queen is still sovereign of both countries.
The tour has been organized to mark the Diamond Jubilee and many of the stops were chosen personally by the Queen.
The couple will also visit the Commonwealth nations of Singapore and Malaysia on behalf of the British government to strengthen diplomatic and trade links.
Singapore, where they land on September 11, William and Kate will be afforded the honour of having an orchid named after each of them in the Botanic Gardens.
They will then head to Malaysia, staying in the capital Kuala Lumpur, where the duchess will give her first foreign speech abroad, at a hospice.
The couple will also attend a glitzy dinner hosted by the country's king in his palace.
Then they will fly on to Sabah, the Malaysian part of Borneo, and travel deep into the jungle at Danum Valley, where they hope to climb into the rainforest canopy and see wildlife including the endangered orangutan.
On September 16 they will make their way to Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands.
The couple have been told to expect a colourful welcome - complete with chanting warriors - followed by a drive to the capital in an open-topped vehicle decked in fresh flowers.
Another traditional state dinner also beckons, although this one takes the form of an outdoor island feast with meats cooked in underground barbecues.
And then, just when the endless rounds of smiles and handshakes may have got a little too much, they will be whisked off to paradise - in a traditional war canoe.
The Queen last visited the island in 1982 when she was carried ashore with Prince Philip from Britannia in a canoe.
This time William and Kate will arrive by plane but the locals are still determined to continue the custom.
'We have really have no idea what to expect,' their private secretary admitted yesterday.
The couple will be given a tour of the ten mile square island, including the coconut tree that was planted by the Queen on her last visit.