Kate calms upset baby

Duchess Kate soothes Palmerston North baby

Last updated 07:35 17/04/2014
Duchess Catherine
CAMERON BURNELL/FAIRFAX NZ

MEET AND GREET: Duchess Catherine meets children gathered in Civic Square in Wellington.

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It's not everyone who can say the Duchess of Cambridge soothed them when they were upset, but Palmerston North's Alice Costley can.

Or at least the 10-month-old girl will be able to tell that story when she's older.

Alice's father, Tim Costley, an air force squadron leader, was acting as Prince William's royal equerry yesterday, assisting him with gifts and accompanying him around Wellington's Civic Square.

Wet weather didn't prevent thousands of fans from gathering in the capital to farewell William, Catherine and Prince George at the end of their 10-day tour of New Zealand.

Although the sun came out before their arrival, the morning was characterised by torrential rain that made things a bit on the wet side for some fans who had been camped out since 6.30am.

Emma Costley was in the crowd and the royal couple happened to greet her when Alice burst into tears. Catherine stroked the baby on the head to soothe her.

"It was pretty amazing," said Emma Costley, who arrived in the square at 9.30am when the rain was still strong, after driving from Palmerston North. "It turned out great though."

Thousands of Union Jacks waved and hundreds of posies were thrust forward. A rousing cheer went up whenever William or Catherine waved, or merely glanced, at a section of the crowd.

They slowly worked their way along the waving hands and raised camera phones, appearing in no rush to get to the airport.

By the end of the walkabout William's wrists were laden with coloured friendship bracelets given to him by admirers. Catherine also sported a black and neon-yellow bracelet.

The royal family took off from Wellington Airport in an Australian Air Force plane shortly after 1pm.

Catherine and William, carrying a wriggling baby George, walked calmly on to the tarmac and stopped at the foot of the plane steps to shake the hands of officials, including Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae. Onlookers crowded around the fence surrounding the airport, some calling out "goodbye".

The skies were ominously grey, but the rain held back.

The city's parting gift was a strong gust of Wellington wind that swept through Catherine's hair as she and her husband waved farewell to New Zealand one last time, before the plane doors closed.

The royals flew to Australia where thousands turned out for an official welcome at the Sydney Opera House. Fairfax NZ

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- Manawatu Standard

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