A relaxed Prince William and wife Catherine were carried on thrones and dined on coconuts in remote Tuvalu Tuesday as their lawyers went on the offensive in Europe over topless photos of the duchess.
"Thank you very much for your most colourful welcome," William, wearing a floral headpiece, said as nearly half the population of 10,500 turned out to greet the future British king and his wife.
They flew in from the Solomon Islands on the last leg of their Asia-Pacific tour a day after their lawyers lodged a criminal complaint in Paris against a French magazine that published photos of Catherine sunbathing topless.
A court decision was expected later Tuesday on their request for an injunction banning the re-publication or resale of the grainy pictures, which were also run by an Italian magazine and an Irish newspaper.
Throughout the day, ferries packed with excited people from distant atolls arrived in the Tuvalu capital Funafuti, much of which had been freshly painted for the royal visit.
When William and Catherine stepped off their private jet they were carried on multi-coloured thrones to the parliament building where they were welcomed by Governor General Sir Iakoba Taeia Italeli and Prime Minister Willy Telavi.
Tuvalu residents say the visit is the biggest event since Queen Elizabeth II, William's grandmother, arrived in the Pacific nation in 1982.
"We really wanted to come here after my grandmother told me about it," William said, returning the compliment.
The royal couple, with Catherine wearing a yellow frock and William in a suit with his shirt unbuttoned at the top, delighted all they met on their tour of Funafuti.
William drew admiring looks as he used a machete to tap at a coconut until it cracked open, and Catherine had a group of primary school children spellbound as she read from a local story book.
After watching a traditional canoe race, where William presented the medals to the winning crew of four and Catherine presented the second-placed medals Olympic style, the royal couple were to attend a state dinner.
Their brief visit wraps up a nine-day Asia-Pacific tour marking the queen's Diamond Jubilee, which has kept them away from the growing furore in Europe over the publication of the topless photos.
The blurry images have so far appeared in the French gossip magazine Closer, the Irish Daily Star tabloid and the Italian publication Chi.
Lawyers for William and Catherine want criminal charges for an alleged breach of privacy brought against Closer and the photographer, whose identity has not been revealed.
They are also seeking an injunction to prevent Closer -- which is owned by Italian former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's Mondadori group -- from re-selling the images.
A palace spokeswoman has hinted the royal family could also launch legal action against Chi and the Irish Daily Star.
The duke and duchess touched down in Tuvalu from the Solomon Islands where they spent the night in a luxury thatched cottage on a secluded tropical island.
Tuvalu consists of six atolls and three islands that total only 25 square kilometres (10 square miles) of land dotted along a 676-kilometre-long arc near the equator.
Its sparse land, most of which is no more than a metre (three feet) above sea level, is threatened by the encroaching ocean with a 2011 report finding the water level was rising about five millimetres per year around Tuvalu.