Royal couple enjoy jungle treat

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge enjoyed an "amazing" jungle experience in Malaysia as they attempted to put the storm of controversy surrounding Kate's topless photos behind them.

The royal couple were hoisted more than 40 metres up into the rainforest canopy to experience a birds-eye view of the unique eco-system and when they reached ground level Kate found herself quite attached to one local resident - a leech.

Speaking about their time in the tree tops at the Danum Valley field centre in Borneo the Duchess said: "That was rather surreal, wasn't it? It was amazing, such a treat, really brilliant to be up there. I could have stayed up there for hours, even though there were a lot of ants."

In the lush, steaming surroundings of the jungle the Duke and Duchess appeared relaxed and joked with each other and their hosts but back home another publication - the Republic of Ireland edition of the Irish Daily Star - followed the lead of French magazine Closer and published intimate pictures of the future Queen.

William and Kate's day could not have been more removed from events in the UK with the royals flown by helicopter into the heart of the Malaysian state of Sabah, on the island of Borneo, to the field centre to explore its wildlife.

They were joined by Tengku Adlin, a Malaysian prince who travelled with the Duke of Edinburgh during his helicopter flight over the rainforest when he visited the region in 1972.

The foreign royal said: "They enjoyed it immensely, they asked lots of questions about primates, birds and insects, and Kate was taking a lot of photos."

During the royal couple's Diamond Jubilee tour of the Far East the Duchess has worn many designer outfits but for the jungle was dressed in slim-cut beige jeans and a plaited brown leather belt, sturdy walking boots and a sheer green blouse over a black t-shirt.

William has a strong interest in wildlife and ecology and was briefed along with his wife about the area by a group of Malaysian and British scientists, including Dr Glen Reynolds, the director of the Royal Society's South East Asia research programme, which explores the impact of deforestation in the region, and Dr Owen Lewis from Oxford University.

The royals were then fitted with special harnesses and helmets in a private room before being hoisted 42 metres up into a giant parashorea tomentella tree using a counterweight pulley system which had been set by rope access technicians to their combined weight, believed to be 150kg.