Prince William and Kate Middleton dance 'like nobody's business' in Belize

UK royals were earlier taken to chocolate heaven at a cocoa farm, after the first choice was cancelled because of local protests

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge danced to the delight of Belize crowds and indulged their love of chocolate as they explored the Caribbean country.

Kate was first to move to the beat when the couple were treated to a welcome dance as they toured a village and she was soon followed by a shimmying William.

Local organiser Laura Cacho, 57, who danced with the future king, said: "They were shaking their waists like nobody's business."

Earlier, the Cambridges were in heaven sampling products made at the Che 'il cocoa farm in Maya Centre village. But they had to work for their sweet treats by grinding chocolate nibs.

The tour of the farm was a hastily organised replacement event after residents from another village protested when they learnt about a proposed royal trip to their family-run cocoa producer.

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They objected to a range of issues including the landing site of the Cambridges' helicopter.

The duchess, who wore a blue summer dress, joined nine local schoolchildren on the makeshift dance floor at the Garifuna Cultural Centre, in the picturesque beachfront village of Hopkins.

Her husband watched as she stole the show before he joined in the dancing with Ms Cacho.

"He shook his waist to the music," she said. "He had beautiful rhythm. It was a pleasure for me.

"Kate was excellent as well and definitely has Garifuna culture in her."

During the couple's introduction to local culture, they were offered a plantain coconut broth called hudutu, and a sweet sava porridge called sahau with Belizian celebrity chef Sean Kuylen.

At the nearby Che 'il chocolate farm shop, Kate ground nibs, or broken-up cocoa beans, which is back-breaking work traditionally performed by the women in rural communities.

As William watched, he quipped "That's the way you burn off calories before [you] eat the chocolate."

Later when he tried pounding away with a mortar and pestle made from volcanic rock, his wife said: "The smell of the chocolate is amazing."

The duke even joked about giving up his day job as a working royal, asking Julio Saqui, owner of the family-run chocolate firm: "Do you take apprentices?

"Can I come and work for you? It's my kind of thing."

The couple's eyes lit up when they saw chocolate fountains, dipping tortilla chips into the brown sticky liquid, and they tried hot chocolate made from organic products.

"I think our children will be very jealous," Kate said.

The Saqui family are from Belize's Maya community, where the cocoa bean is revered and has been an integral part of their culture for thousands of years.

It was served to royalty in centuries past and at one point was worth more than gold to the Maya people, who still serve it to special guests.

The couple began their tour of the chocolate production at the firm's four-hectare farm, one of a number of plots they cultivate, and were shown the cocoa trees laden with fruit.

"Do you harvest them all year round?" Kate asked Narcisio Saqui, brother of Julio.

Narcisio took the couple out of the blistering sun, sat them down under a marquee and told them about antioxidants and other important properties of cocoa.

"Are you saying chocolate is good for us?" William asked.

When he took a club and broke open a cocoa pod, filled with white gooey seeds that must be fermented, dried, roasted and ground to make chocolate, William looked surprised and said: "That's not what I expected at all."

Updated: March 21, 2022, 8:34 AM
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