Royals make waves in Auckland

21:38, Apr 10 2014
Royal tour
Stephanie Stratton, Gina Burney and Jeanette Abelen wait for the royals in Blenheim.
Royal tour
Jane Learning waits in the rain for the royals in Blenheim,.
Royal tour
Georgia Richard, aged 10, Claire Bowers aged 5 and Lilah Bowers aged 10 from Springland school wait for the royals in damp Blenheim.
Royal visit
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."
Royal visit
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.
Royal visit
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.
Royal tour
Looking lovely in pink is Mackenzie Large, aged 5.
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Jessica Curzon, 5, and her nana, Paila Schreuder, wait for a glimpse of the royal trio.
Kate
The Duchess of Cambridge meets war veterans in Blenheim.
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William and Kate during a wreath laying ceremony in Blenheim.
Royal tour
William puts on a friendship bracelet given to him by a child.
Royal Tour
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.
Royal Tour
William and Kate stand together after laying the wreath.
Royal Tour
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a ceremony at the war memorial in Seymour Square.
Royal Tour
Prime Minister John Key, seated, looks on as William and Kate walk past.
Royal Tour
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, talks with some children after laying a wreath with her husband, Britain's Prince William.
Royal tour
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge speaks with veterans after the ceremony.
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The Duchess of Cambridge talks to people during the public walk in Seymour Square.
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Kate mingles with the crowd.
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Kate holds hands with World War II veteran David Mason.
Royal Tour
The crowd erupts at the sight of the prince and princess.
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Opposition Leader David Cunliffe arrives at the ceremony.
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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge smiles as she meets the gathered crowds in Seymour Square during day four of a Royal Tour to New Zealand.
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The Duke and Duchess arrive at Seymour Square in Blenheim.
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There's always time for a spot of peek-a-boo.
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Catherine reacts as she meets a baby in the crowd after laying a wreath with her husband.
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The crowds wait to see the royals.
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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Seymour Square Blenheim.
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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.
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Kate waves to a sea of well-wishers.
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The Duke and Duchess being welcomed into the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre by Sir Peter Jackson and chief executive Jane Orphan.
Royal Tour
Sir Peter Jackson shows the Duke and Duchess his Knights of the Sky World War I exhibition at Omaka.
Royal tour
William and Kate inspect a World War I plane at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre with Sir Peter Jackson.
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William discovers it's a bit tight in a World War I plane.
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Kate doesn't seem too enamoured with whatever William is trying to point out.
Royal Tour
Ooh shiny!
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Sir Peter snaps away.
Duke and Duchess Royal reception
AWAITED ARRIVAL: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at the Royal Reception with Governor General Jerry Mateparae and his wife Lady Janine.
Duke and duchess state reception
BIG MOMENT: The unveiling of the portrait of Her Majesty the Queen of New Zealand by Nick Cuthell.
Duke and duchess state reception
ANTICIPATION: About to reveal the portrait of Her Majesty the Queen of New Zealand by Nick Cuthell.
Duke and duchess royal reception
WHAT'S SO FUNNY?: The Duchess shares a joke with artist Nick Cuthell and PM John Key at art unveiling at Government House, Wellington.
Duke and duchess royal reception
ROYAL MOMENT: The Duke and Duchess with the newest painting of the Queen.
Duke and duchess royal reception
ROYAL RECEPTION: The couple seem to be enjoying themselves at a reception held in their honour.
Royal tour Day Four
PORTRAIT: Catherine stands beside a new portrait of the Queen after she and Prince William unveiled it at Government House.

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.

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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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