Will, Kate enthral Blenheim crowd

PORTRAIT: Catherine stands beside a new portrait of the Queen after she and Prince William unveiled it at Government House.
PORTRAIT: Catherine stands beside a new portrait of the Queen after she and Prince William unveiled it at Government House.
ANTICIPATION: About to reveal the portrait of Her Majesty the Queen of New Zealand by Nick Cuthell.
ANTICIPATION: About to reveal the portrait of Her Majesty the Queen of New Zealand by Nick Cuthell.
WHAT'S SO FUNNY?: The Duchess shares a joke with artist Nick Cuthell and PM John Key at art unveiling at Government House, Wellington.
WHAT'S SO FUNNY?: The Duchess shares a joke with artist Nick Cuthell and PM John Key at art unveiling at Government House, Wellington.
BIG MOMENT: The unveiling of the portrait of Her Majesty the Queen of New Zealand by Nick Cuthell.
BIG MOMENT: The unveiling of the portrait of Her Majesty the Queen of New Zealand by Nick Cuthell.
ROYAL MOMENT: The Duke and Duchess with the newest painting of the Queen.
ROYAL MOMENT: The Duke and Duchess with the newest painting of the Queen.
ROYAL RECEPTION: The couple seem to be enjoying themselves at a reception held in their honour.
ROYAL RECEPTION: The couple seem to be enjoying themselves at a reception held in their honour.
AWAITED ARRIVAL: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at the Royal Reception with Governor General Jerry Mateparae and his wife Lady Janine.
AWAITED ARRIVAL: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at the Royal Reception with Governor General Jerry Mateparae and his wife Lady Janine.
William discovers it's a bit tight in a World War I plane.
William discovers it's a bit tight in a World War I plane.
Kate doesn't seem too enamoured with whatever William is trying to point out.
Kate doesn't seem too enamoured with whatever William is trying to point out.
William and Kate inspect a World War I plane at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre with Sir Peter Jackson.
William and Kate inspect a World War I plane at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre with Sir Peter Jackson.
Ooh shiny!
Ooh shiny!
Sir Peter snaps away.
Sir Peter snaps away.
Sir Peter Jackson shows the Duke and Duchess his Knights of the Sky World War I exhibition at Omaka.
Sir Peter Jackson shows the Duke and Duchess his Knights of the Sky World War I exhibition at Omaka.
Kate waves to a sea of well-wishers.
Kate waves to a sea of well-wishers.
The Duke and Duchess being welcomed into the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre by Sir Peter Jackson and chief executive Jane Orphan.
The Duke and Duchess being welcomed into the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre by Sir Peter Jackson and chief executive Jane Orphan.
Catherine reacts as she talks with William, after they met members of the crowd and laid a wreath at the war memorial in Seymour Square.
Catherine reacts as she talks with William, after they met members of the crowd and laid a wreath at the war memorial in Seymour Square.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Seymour Square Blenheim.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Seymour Square Blenheim.
The crowds wait to see the royals.
The crowds wait to see the royals.
Catherine reacts as she meets a baby in the crowd after laying a wreath with her husband.
Catherine reacts as she meets a baby in the crowd after laying a wreath with her husband.
There's always time for a spot of peek-a-boo.
There's always time for a spot of peek-a-boo.
The Duke and Duchess arrive at Seymour Square in Blenheim.
The Duke and Duchess arrive at Seymour Square in Blenheim.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge smiles as she meets the gathered crowds in Seymour Square during day four of a Royal Tour to New Zealand.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge smiles as she meets the gathered crowds in Seymour Square during day four of a Royal Tour to New Zealand.
Opposition Leader David Cunliffe  arrives at the ceremony.
Opposition Leader David Cunliffe arrives at the ceremony.
Kate holds hands with World War II veteran David Mason.
Kate holds hands with World War II veteran David Mason.
The crowd erupts at the sight of the prince and princess.
The crowd erupts at the sight of the prince and princess.
Kate mingles with the crowd.
Kate mingles with the crowd.
The Duchess of Cambridge talks to people during the public walk in Seymour Square.
The Duchess of Cambridge talks to people during the public walk in Seymour Square.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge speaks with veterans after the ceremony.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge speaks with veterans after the ceremony.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, talks with some children after laying a wreath with her husband, Britain's Prince William.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, talks with some children after laying a wreath with her husband, Britain's Prince William.
Prime Minister John Key, seated, looks on as William and Kate walk past.
Prime Minister John Key, seated, looks on as William and Kate walk past.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a ceremony at the war memorial in Seymour Square.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a ceremony at the war memorial in Seymour Square.
William and Kate stand together after laying the wreath.
William and Kate stand together after laying the wreath.
A card can be seen on the wreath that Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, laid at the war memorial in Seymour Square in the town of Blenheim.
A card can be seen on the wreath that Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, laid at the war memorial in Seymour Square in the town of Blenheim.
William puts on a friendship bracelet given to him by a child.
William puts on a friendship bracelet given to him by a child.
William and Kate during a wreath laying ceremony in Blenheim.
William and Kate during a wreath laying ceremony in Blenheim.
The Duchess of Cambridge meets war veterans in Blenheim.
The Duchess of Cambridge meets war veterans in Blenheim.
Looking lovely in pink is Mackenzie Large, aged 5.
Looking lovely in pink is Mackenzie Large, aged 5.
Jessica Curzon, 5, and her nana, Paila Schreuder, wait for a glimpse of the royal trio.
Jessica Curzon, 5, and her nana, Paila Schreuder, wait for a glimpse of the royal trio.
From left, Alex Phelps, 7,  Charlotte Thompson, 7, Tilly Phelps, 5, and Jake Thompson were among the crowds waiting for the royals. Charlotte had also drawn a picture for
the occasion.
From left, Alex Phelps, 7, Charlotte Thompson, 7, Tilly Phelps, 5, and Jake Thompson were among the crowds waiting for the royals. Charlotte had also drawn a picture for the occasion.
Dedicated royalists Ashley Hoey, and Jane Leaning from Nelson have been camped out in the front row of the walkabout route since 7am. Leaning has seen the Queen Mother, the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince Andrew. She said she wrote to them often, wishing them well on occasions such as the birth of babies. "They always write back."
Dedicated royalists Ashley Hoey, and Jane Leaning from Nelson have been camped out in the front row of the walkabout route since 7am. Leaning has seen the Queen Mother, the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince Andrew. She said she wrote to them often, wishing them well on occasions such as the birth of babies. "They always write back."
Five-year-old Gracie Wickens from Blenheim is one of many little princesses waiting at Seymour Square for the royals. Her mum, Deedee Bancroft, said Gracie wouldn't wear her school uniform this morning and went all dressed up.
Five-year-old Gracie Wickens from Blenheim is one of many little princesses waiting at Seymour Square for the royals. Her mum, Deedee Bancroft, said Gracie wouldn't wear her school uniform this morning and went all dressed up.
Stephanie Stratton, Gina Burney and Jeanette Abelen wait for the royals in Blenheim.
Stephanie Stratton, Gina Burney and Jeanette Abelen wait for the royals in Blenheim.
Georgia Richard, aged 10, Claire Bowers aged 5 and Lilah Bowers aged 10 from Springland school wait for the royals in damp Blenheim.
Georgia Richard, aged 10, Claire Bowers aged 5 and Lilah Bowers aged 10 from Springland school wait for the royals in damp Blenheim.
Jane Learning waits in the rain for the royals in Blenheim,.
Jane Learning waits in the rain for the royals in Blenheim,.

Thousands of William and Kate fans whooped, cheered and waved flags in Blenheim during the couple's first public outing on their New Zealand tour.

The wreath-laying ceremony at the war memorial marking 100 years since the start of World War I was the couple's first official ceremonial duty of their 10-day tour.

Fans began arriving at 4.45am to stake out a prime front-row spot to see the famous couple.

ROYALTY: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
ROYALTY: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

By 10am Seymour Square surrounding the memorial became a sea of red, white and blue. Police estimate between 7000 and 10,000 people were there.

Supporters clung to the security railing, while the unlucky crowds at the back strained for a better view.

Tiara-wearing toddlers perfected their inner princess performing curtsies in pink tulle dresses, while senior citizens took selfies on their smartphones.

Armed with Union Jacks and wearing jubilant smiles, the crowd cheered as the couple's air force plane flew overhead on its way to Base Woodbourne.

The crowd had only a short wait before the couple arrived fashionably late at 11.15am. Looking her elegant self in blue frock coat, Kate smiled at the warm Marlborough welcome.

William in his navy suit with his service medals on his lapel played the handsome prince role to perfection.

After they were greeted by Mayor Alistair Sowman and his wife Thelma Sowman the couple were introduced to Marlborough Returned Services' Association vice-presidents Rod Shoemark and Ross Cooke.

At the ceremony, with their wives, were Prime Minister John Key, Opposition leader David Cunliffe and defence force chief Lieutenant General Tim Keating.

Blenheim's war memorial and clock tower is Marlborough's principal monument to 419 residents killed during World War I. After laying a symbolic wreath of roses and carnations at the tower, followed by a minute's silence, the composed couple listened intently as Marlborough Girls' College students Olivia Burns and Alice Schofield sang the national anthem.

The couple spent 15 minutes talking to 20 veterans from Marlborough RSA. The smiling senior citizens looked like they were regaling Kate with old war stories. Veteran Bill Skerrit produced an old photograph of him with the Duke of Edinburgh that captured Kate's attention.

The air was punctuated with sound of cheers as the couple walked through the passage under the clock tower. As they waved, royal-watchers held their smartphones aloft to get that all-important snapshot.

The couple went on separate walkabouts, with William led by the mayor, and Kate guided by the mayoress.

Blenheim woman Vicky King's son Alton King, 9 months, drew laughs when he sneezed on Kate.

"He will go down in history for sneezing in front of the duchess," King said. "When he sneezed she said, ‘oh my goodness' and giggled.

"I was really nervous but she is a mum just like me. It was a very surreal experience. She was very easy to talk to."

As William approached the crowds, children climbed onto their parents' shoulders for a better view.

Aika Mojzisek, 6, of Blenheim, was sitting on the ground showing off a gappy grin when William approached.

Aika who just lost her first tooth, laughed as William asked whether the tooth fairy had taken it. Aika's fake tattoo on her hand sparked laughter from William when she thrust out her little hand. "That is a new one on me," he said.

Lorissa Barnett's 3-year-old twins Lola and Millie Barnett wore tiaras and became princesses for the day.

The girls presented William with a posy of flowers adorned with pearls and he assured the girls Kate would love them.

"I think their tiaras attracted his attention," Barnett, of Blenheim, said. "It was really special. He was lovely, very polite and he made sure he talked to everyone."

At the end of the walkabout, a woman overcome with royal fever summed up what everyone was thinking. "That was worth it," she declared.

What The Telegraph is reporting 

The Marlborough Express