Royals make waves in Auckland

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,.

Today's royal visit looks set to make a splash in Auckland.

It might not have the heart-in-mouth drama of the America's Cup but - just as they were in September - the nation's eyes will be focused on the water, as William and Kate go head to head in the city of sails.

The royal couple land at Whenuapai air force base just after 11am where they will meet military top brass.

That will be followed by a leisurely drive to the Team New Zealand base in central Auckland, before the competition starts.

At 1pm, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will compete in match-race sailing on former Team New Zealand yachts for a couple of hours and, according to weather forecasters, the conditions should suit it.

Unlike San Francisco, where the America's Cup was blighted by light winds, Auckland looks set to turn up a decent breeze.

MetService forecaster Dan Corbett said today's forecast had looked ''a bit grim'' earlier in the week but he expected the ''main lump of rain'' to hit the Coromandel and Bay of Plenty, rather than Auckland.

Predicted westerly winds of 10-15 knots were unlikely to cause a capsize, Corbett said.

The coastguard said it would treat it as a normal day and Maritime New Zealand said it was not involved in the event, instead deferring to the police's maritime unit.

However, the police were keeping details of today's operation top secret.

''We don't discuss security arrangements for such events,'' a spokeswoman said.

''Suffice to say planning for the royal visit has been under way since the visit was confirmed and there are sufficient staff and arrangements in place to ensure the safety and security of visitors and members of the public who wish to take advantage of the scheduled opportunities to see them.''

Though there is likely to be a bumper turnout, local schools were not expecting mass absences.

Ponsonby Primary School principal Dr Anne Malcolm said she had not heard much about students planning a day off but was not forbidding it.

''If our parents want to take their children to go and see people like the royals, or the All Blacks or the America's Cup, I think you just say 'fantastic, that's families getting together','' she said.

Kelston Primary School principal Cliff Hughes said the royal visit had not taken his school by storm either.

''I don't think it's a big hit in our community. I haven't heard much talk about it,'' he said.

Organisers will be hoping Wills and Kate enjoy the water.

At 3pm, once the yachting is over, they will be zipped over to Hobsonville Marina on an amphibious craft used by the military called Sealegs.

The best chance for a glimpse of the glitzy duo is likely to be at the Viaduct Basin along Beaumont and Jellicoe streets and in Karanga Plaza.

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