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Royals release new family photo

Last updated 11:54 30/03/2014
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ROYAL FAMILY: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George.

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A new photo of Prince William, wife Kate and son George has been released a week ahead of their tour to New Zealand.

The eight-month-old prince is pictured wearing a baby-blue jumper with his name on it, cuddled in his mother's arms while Prince William holds their cocker-spaniel, Lupo.

The photograph, looking through an open window at their Kensington Palace home, was taken by Jason Bell who was also the official photographer at George's christening in October.

Bell is a celebrated celebrity snapper, known for his photos of Hollywood stars and rock and pop legends like Paul McCartney, Scarlett Johansson and David Beckham.

The royal couple and baby Prince George will spend nine days in New Zealand as part of a three-week tour down under.

With the tour marking the newest royal's first official overseas trip there is expected to be huge interest in the visit which will start in New Zealand on April 7 and end in Australia on Anzac Day.

Prince William was last in New Zealand and Australia in 2011, shortly after the Christchurch earthquakes and natural disasters in Queensland and Victoria.

The royal couple's first engagement will be at Government House in Wellington the day of their arrival in New Zealand.

They will be greeted by a powhiri on the lawn and Prince William will inspect a guard of honour before a 21 gun salute is fired.

The following day will be kept free for the family who will spend the time away from the capital at a private residence.

On April 9, they will have a full round of engagements including a function at Government House to recognise Plunket, where Prince George may make an appearance.

The following day the duke and duchess will attend a wreath-laying ceremony in Blenheim, attended by veterans from World War II and more-recent conflicts.

The royal couple will also visit the Omaka Aviation Heritage centre where they will be escorted by Sir Peter Jackson around his display of World War I aircraft.

Later that evening they will attend a State reception at Government House and unveil a portrait of the Queen.

On April 11, they will travel to Whenuapai in Auckland, New Zealand's largest air force base, where they will meet base personnel and their families for an informal gathering.

On April 12 Prince William will visit Pacific Aerospace at Hamilton while the duchess, who is a patron of East Anglia's children hospices, will visit a children's hospice in Hamilton.

The couple will then travel to Cambridge where they will visit the town centre before meeting Olympic cycling medallists at the new national velodrome.

On April 13, the couple will leave George in Wellington while they travel to Dunedin, Queenstown and Christchurch.

In Dunedin they will be met by Ngai Tahu before attending a Palm Sunday service, followed by the rugby fun day.

In Queenstown they will visit the Amisfield vineyard before riding the Shotover Jet.

On April 14 the couple will visit Christchurch where they will visit the central business district and attend a brief ceremony to remember those who were killed during the 2011 earthquake.

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On their final morning in New Zealand the royal couple will visit the police college outside Wellington which was opened by the Prince of Wales 30 years ago.

A walkabout in central Wellington may be their final event before they fly to Australia.

- Stuff

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