HomePIANGODuchess of Cambridge wows women in Honiara

PIANGO Executive Director Emele Duituturaga chats with Duchess of Cambridge Catherine of Britain in Honiara

The Duchess of Cambridge of Britain wowed the select group of women in Honiara yesterday including PIANGO Executive Director Emele Duituturaga who was taken aback by her warmth and personality.

“It was so easy to talk with her,” Ms Duituturaga said from the Solomon Islands through email.

“She has a natural warmth and attractive personality and a very pretty face.”

About 60 women leaders from different organisations including government and the public sector, churches, NGOs, Girl Guides, Magistrates, Police,  Private Sector and business women had been selected met in a leaf hut especially built for the reception with the Duchess at the Commonwealth Youth Programme venue.

The 30-year-old Duchess was obviously interested in how women fared in this Pacific Island state and questioned Ms Duituturaga on her work with women there.

“She asked what I did and I said I was working with Solomon Island women, especially women in leadership and getting women into parliament since there has only been two women since independence in 1978,” Ms Duituturaga said.

Ms Duituturaga was invited to the reception in her capacity as a short term Gender Adviser for the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI).

“She asked if many women ran for elections, I told here there was no shortage of women since there were 25 that ran in the 2010 elections and 26 ran in 2006, but none was successful,” Ms Duituturaga said.

“She asked if the women came from everywhere and I said yes from all the nine provinces and Honiara.

“She asked what level was the highest ranking women in the public service and I said – Clerk to Parliament and Permanent Secretary and Magistrate.”

Ms Duituturaga said she could not believe she was looking at the Duchess in person because she had been a close admirer of the Duchess reading about her in magazines and being part of the global following in her wedding with Prince William.

The wedding of William and Kate, both 30, in April 2011 was watched on television by up to two billion people around the world and helped breathe new life into Britain’s monarchy after years of crisis.

Duchess of Cambridge Kate enjoy some traditional dances in Honiara. Photo: RoyalsStuffandNonsense

Britain’s younger royals are touring the globe throughout 2012 as part of celebrations marking Queen Elizabeth’s 60-year reign as they seek to maintain their relevance in a changing world.

The glamorous royal couple are on a nine-day Southeast Asian and Pacific tour and have already visited Singapore and Malaysia.
Kate made her first public comments on foreign soil during a visit to a Kuala Lumpur hospice, where she spoke briefly about the need for palliative care – a multidisciplinary approach to relieve the physical, emotional and other pain of longtime disease-sufferers.

Ms Duituturaga said she was so excited and thrilled at the opportunity she had of engaging the Duchess for the brief minutes they shared.

“I was so excited, I was so thrilled, I just couldn’t believe I would be shaking hands with her,” Ms Duituturaga said.
“I had to calm down because she was so relaxed and seemed interested in what I was saying.”
Fiji was not included in the whirlwind tour of Asia and the Pacific because of the suspension from the Commonwealth following the 2006 military coup.

William and Kate share a brief chat during their time in Honiara. Photo: RoyalsStuffandNonsense