VICTORIA, Seychelles – The Seychelles' foreign minister said Thursday that the archipelago's privacy and seclusion make it a good honeymoon destination for people like Prince William and Kate — but would not confirm or deny reports that the British royal couple is there.
Jean-Paul Adam said questions about the couple, now known as Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, would have to be referred to Buckingham Palace.
British media said the pair jetted off Tuesday to the Seychelles, a string of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean about 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) off the eastern coast of Kenya.
"Obviously people will always speculate about them being in Seychelles, but Seychelles people do not feel that they need to talk about these things loudly," Adam said. "We are somewhere that people come to get away from that kind of thing."
But he said the couple has visited the islands before, as have other celebrities. The Seychelles has only 90,000 people and is used to hosting celebrities and the fabulously wealthy.
"The Seychelles is well-known as a honeymoon destination, first of all," Adam said. "And secondly as a very private and secluded destination. And we have had William and Kate visit us before. So I think that a lot of people have, right from the start, put us in the running for being a country to host the honeymoon."
Pierre Delplace, who manages a luxury hotel on the main Mahe Island, said residents know the royal couple is there.
"It's the Seychelles' greatest trait: everyone knows that they are here, but no one will talk about it," he said. "We know, of course we know ... it was even in a newspaper, but that's it. There's no case of everyone wanting to go and see them and take their photos, not at all. I think that discretion is the first rule of the Seychelles."
Prince William and his wife are reportedly staying on the archipelago's secluded North Island, some 19 miles (30 kilometers) away from the capital of Victoria.
"North Island is a private island, with 11 absolutely superb villas," Delplace said. "There, you have peace, you can do what you wish, you can eat what you like, when you like, where you like. There is no dress code, there is no stress, there are not people all around you. So, yes, they have chosen the peace and beauty of the Seychelles."
The island on Wednesday was closely monitored by three national coast guard boats, further fueling speculation that the royal couple had chosen it as their destination. The coast guard escorted away a boat that came too close.
A company that owns many exclusive, lush islands in remote locations has refused to give out any details of the royal honeymoon until it is over. Buckingham Palace also has requested the royal couple's privacy be respected while they are on holiday.
William proposed to Kate last October in a rustic log cabin on the slopes of Kenya's highest peak, Mount Kenya. Both Kenya and the Seychelles are former British colonies.