Once upon a time, William and Kate visited the island nation of Tuvalu. The couple was adorned with flower garlands and seashells, carried on a double throne by 25 islanders, they sipped on pina coladas, and fboth danced in grass skirts, all the while laughing and looking absolutely joyous. It is no wonder that William declared that it was an “amazing evening.” Now, more than five years later, the tiny island nation is giving the couple something even more: an award of the highest honor from the Polynesian nation.
In 2012, the newly married Duke and Duchess of Cambridge celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and toured the Far East. One memorable stop included the island of Tuvalu, the world’s fourth smallest country. Tuvalu, only a couple of feet above the ocean–at it’s highest point– is feared to disappear in a matter of decades due to effects of climate change.
According to the Daily Mail, the island urgently needs action to prevent the effects of climate change, or they will be off of the map, under water. The islanders have now given Duchess Kate and Prince William received Tuvalu’s “highest order” for “raising climate change awareness.”
Unfortunately, there was not a return trip to the idyllic island. The Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant with her third child and has been suffering from serious morning sickness. Thus, the couple could not travel halfway around the world to receive their medals at this magical island that brought the two so much joy early in their marriage.
Instead, last week there was a private ceremony held at Kensington Palace, where Kate and William were made members of the Tuvalu Order of Merit. Both Catherine and William were bestowed a silver medal by Tuvalu’s honorary consul in Britain, Sir Iftikhar Ayaz.
Major David Rankin-Hunt designed the silver medal, and the British firm, Gladman & Norman made it. Rankin-Hunt is known for having previously run the Royal Collection and is currently an advisor on the Netflix show, The Crown.
As the Queen is the head of state, she approved the awards. This is the first ever award that Kate Middleton has ever received, and the couple was “honored” by the award.
Now the couple each have a beautiful memento from the island nation, along with the dozens of photos of them dancing, that have become memes and have taken a life of their own on social media.
What do you think of William and Kate receiving an award for the highest honor from Tuvalu.
[Featured Image by Arthur Edwards/Pool/Getty Images]