Kate and Wills headed for Tuvalu - but where is it and what's there?

Kate and Wills headed for Tuvalu - but where is it and what's there?
Kate and Wills headed for Tuvalu - but where is it and what's there?

PA


News broke yesterday that the Royal Family will be touring different parts of the globe to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

Prince William and Kate Middleton will be visiting Malaysia, Singapore, the Solomon Islands, and... Tuvalu?

So where is this tiny island and what can they expect to find on their arrival?

Tuvalu has been chosen because it is a sovereign state, and it is located in the South Pacific midway between Hawaii and Australia

Kate and Wills headed for Tuvalu - but where is it and what's there?
Kate and Wills headed for Tuvalu - but where is it and what's there?

PA


It comprises of nine islands (four reef islands and five atolls) and has a population of 10,472 people on 10 square miles, making it the fourth smallest country in the world.

Its closest neighbours are Kiribati, Nauru, Fiji and Samoa, and Tuvaluans are Polynesian people who settled on the island 3,000 years ago from Tonga and Samoa.

Tourists can expect to find a stunning unspoiled corner of the world, with a spectacular marine environment and amazing lagoons. The capital, Funafuti, has a 33-acre conservation area, where six uninhabited islets with native broadleaf forest and coral sand beaches are located and are home to coconut crabs, nesting seabirds and turtles.

A variety of colourful fish can easily be seen through the clear blue lagoon, while coral reefs and bommies provide brilliant snorkelling and scuba diving.

Kate and Wills headed for Tuvalu - but where is it and what's there?
Kate and Wills headed for Tuvalu - but where is it and what's there?

PA


Kate and William's arrival is likely to be celebrated with a traditional dance, and the Duke may be persuaded to take part in the national game of te ano (the ball).

During the last royal visit to the nation back in 1982, the Queen and Prince Philip were brought ashore in canoes and carried at shoulder height in the vessels by islanders into the capital Funafuti during a spectacular ceremony.

Tuvalu (then known as the Ellice Islands) first came under British jurisdiction in 1877. In 1892 it became a colony, and in 1975 the country became an independent constitutional monarchy and the 38th member of the Commonwealth on 1 October, 1978.

Tuvalu is classified by the United Nations as one of the world's peaceful least developed countries, and was recently been accepted as the 189th Member State of the United Nations.

Read more about the Diamond Jubilee royal tour here.

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