, FUNAFUTI, Sept 19 – Britain’s Prince William and wife Catherine flew home Wednesday after a night of feasting and dancing in Tuvalu, grateful for a ban on further publication of topless photos of the duchess.
The pair jetted out of the tiny Pacific nation just hours after French authorities ordered the magazine Closer to hand over all forms of the “particularly intrusive” pictures to the royal couple.
“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcome the judge’s ruling,” a statement from St James’s Palace in London said, using William and Catherine’s official titles.
As the French court was delivering its ruling, the future British king and his wife were treated to a traditional Tuvalu feast of pigs, lobster, coconut crabs and local fresh fruit.
They also wore the traditional “titi saka” or skirt as they danced with locals in the remote tropical nation, one of the world’s smallest countries which is situated near the equator.
Before they boarded their flight to Australia, where they will change planes for the long haul back to England, the couple were on Wednesday presented with gifts including model canoes and a model village depicting life in Tuvalu.
Nearly half the population of 10,500 turned out to meet the royals during their 19-hour stopover at the end of a nine-day tour marking the queen’s Diamond Jubilee which also took in Singapore, Malaysia and the Solomon Islands.
In Singapore, William revealed he wants to have two children, and in Malaysia his wife made her first public comments on foreign soil during a visit to a Kuala Lumpur hospice, where she spoke about the need for palliative care.
Their low-key tour was carried out against a backdrop of high-powered legal action in Europe after the French gossip magazine Closer, an Irish tabloid and an Italian magazine published photos of a topless Catherine.
The pictures were taken as the couple was sunbathing at a chateau in the south of France earlier this month.
An injunction granted by a court at Nanterre in the Paris suburbs ordered Closer to hand over all forms of the pictures within 24 hours or face a 10,000-euro ($13,000) fine for every day’s delay.
The injunction also banned the glossy magazine from reusing them in print or on its website and re-selling them on pain of further 10,000-euro fines for each infraction.
The injunction was granted hours after a prosecutor launched a preliminary investigation into whether the magazine and the photographer or photographers who took the pictures had committed a criminal act.