Picked out of the crowd

19:41, Apr 12 2014
Tallulah Dabinette
Old friends: Blenheim sisters Tallulah Dabinette, 9, and Eloise Dabinette, 7, waiting to see the royal couple at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre

A 9-year-old Blenheim girl got to meet Prince William for the second time in her life when the royal couple visited Marlborough on Thursday.

Tallulah Dabinette, 9, and her sister Eloise Dabinette,7, waited with their mum Sara Lee at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre for William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, to emerge from the museum. They didn't go empty handed and Tallulah brought a framed picture of her meeting with the prince in 2005 when she was just seven months old.

The girls' mum says Tallulah met the prince at a water polo match in Auckland. "I brought Tallulah with me and we were waiting outside, then he got out of the car and made a beeline straight for us," she says.

Tallulah Dabinette
Dream moment: Tallulah Dabinette, 9, and Eloise Dabinette, 7, with their mother, Sara-lee Dabinette get to meeting the royal couple during their tour of the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre

The girls were waiting with their mother when one of Kate's helpers came over and asked if she could take the flowers. Tallulah tried to give her the photo too, but the woman said it was too special, Dabinette says.

Prime Minister John Key then came over and tickled Eloise's tummy, followed by Sir Peter Jackson. Dabinette told them about the photo.

"Peter Jackson said ‘wow, that's so cool'," she says.


Kate's helper came back and invited them to meet the royal couple. "It was so surreal," Sara Lee says.

"They just seemed very gracious and kind hearted. They're the kind of people that, if they weren't royalty, you'd want to invite into your home."

William and Kate talked to the girls about how they both played the trumpet and how lovely it would be to bring their son, Prince George, back to Omaka to see the planes, she says.

The girls were exhausted that night but were excited to see if they made the news.

The Marlborough Express