By REBECCA ENGLISH
And they're orf: Kate and William at Buckingham Palace on Saturday before flying by helicopter for their 'mini-moon'
The newlywed Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are to honeymoon in a £4,000-a-night villa on one of the most beautiful and romantic islands in the world.
Prince William is to whisk his bride away to a secret hideaway in the Indian Ocean for a ten-day holiday later this month.
It was widely expected that the couple would be going on honeymoon this week after their wedding on Friday. But at the weekend it was announced that the Duke, a search and rescue pilot, would be returning to work tomorrow at RAF Valley on Anglesey.
Not even Kate is aware of where the couple will be going for their honeymoon but it is understood to be an exclusive island in the Seychelles (Stock image)
Despite his status as second in line to the throne he had to apply for leave like his colleagues. He was given a week off for the wedding but was told that he would have to split any further holiday requests – hence the delayed departure date.
The Mail can reveal that the Duke and Duchess are due to fly out by private jet in mid-May before being taken by helicopter from the mainland to the tropical retreat.
Two Scotland Yard protection officers checked the destination a fortnight ago to ensure it would give the couple the privacy they crave. The Mail is not publishing details of the location, and it is understood that not even Kate is aware of the exact destination.
The resort, which is surrounded by coconut groves, offers almost complete isolation. Its white sand beaches are bathed by crystal-clear turquoise waters and are a sanctuary for sea turtles.
Only a handful of luxury villas are dotted across the island. Hand-crafted out of local wood, each has an open-air bathroom area with sunken bath and shower, a private garden and a wooden deck with freshwater rock pool and yoga pavilion.
There is a butler on hand in every villa, and a personal chef will conjure up a daily menu based on freshly-caught fish and whatever delicacies the couple wish.
The couple were seen flying from Buckingham Palace for their 'mini-moon' in a helicopter
The area is an eco-haven and while snorkelling, kayaking or diving are encouraged, its tranquillity is preserved with a ban on jet skis and similar watersports.
A source said: ‘It’s one of the most incredible places you will ever visit and Kate will have the time of her life. It’s everything you could want from a honeymoon destination and more – beautiful beaches, tropical seas and complete privacy.
‘The prince’s protection officers flew out two and half weeks ago to check it out and their villa has been booked and confirmed.
‘It’s a real Robinson Crusoe kind of place. There are some beautiful hikes, but if you can’t be bothered to walk a golf cart will transport you. They will also deliver you a picnic with ice-cold drinks.
Like everyone else he works with, Prince William had to apply to take time off before the wedding
‘If you fancy some company there is a little beach bar and a restaurant. Most people, however, prefer to eat meals brought by the butler on the privacy of their deck while watching the sunset.’
Over the weekend the Duke and Duchess have been enjoying a ‘mini-moon’ at a mystery location in the UK. They flew in the Queen’s helicopter from Buckingham Palace on Saturday for a two-night break.
Clarence House refused to reveal their destination, or issue official pictures of the honeymooners. Previous royal newlyweds, including Prince Charles and Princess Diana and the Queen and Prince Philip, all posed for photographers.
The secrecy sparked a nationwide guessing game with alleged sightings of the couple from the Isles of Scilly to North East Scotland.
A Clarence House spokesman said last night: ‘The couple have asked the media to respect the privacy of their honeymoon, therefore we can neither confirm or deny speculation.’