Prince William and Duchess Catherine to receive Tuvalu honour

ICONINSIDER — Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, are set to receive the highest award from the South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu for their visit in 2012.
The 34-year-old royal and his wife, 35, visited the Polynesian nation – made up of nine tiny islands – almost five years ago as part of the celebrations marking the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and discussions are now underway for the pair to be awarded the Tuvalu Order of Merit at a special investiture in London.
Tuvalu’s honorary consul in London, Doctor Iftikhar Ayaz, said of the royals’ visit to the nation: “Whenever they have been reminded about it, they have expressed great affection and love for the country. They had a lovely time there. They will remember that visit for a very long time.”
Doctor Ayaz hopes the investiture ceremony will take place soon, and says he has written to the Queen’s private secretary to ask if he would present the pair with the honours.
He added to the Daily Express newspaper: “I have written to the Queen’s private secretary, Sir Christopher Geidt, asking if he will present the Duke and Duchess with the medals.”
According to the publication, Doctor Ayaz also explained the Tuvalu Order of Merit is the country’s highest award, and forms part of a new honours system set up last year to be independent from Britain’s twice-yearly awards which previously included people honoured in Tuvalu.
Meanwhile, during a state banquet in the nation in 2012, Prince William – who has three-year-old son Prince George and 22-month-old daughter Princess Charlotte with his wife – said their visit to the country had been full of “joy and happiness”.
He said: “Your wonderful welcome has to be the most original and quite literally uplifting ever, we will both remember it and the joy and happiness of what has followed for the rest of our lives.”

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