Kate brightens Lili's day

KEVIN NORQUAY
Last updated 16:07 11/04/2014
Lili Reynolds
MICHAEL FIELD/ Fairfax NZ
WISH COME TRUE: Lili Reynolds meets Prince William and wife Catherine in Auckland's Viaduct Basin.

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While all the attention on this royal tour has been on the clothes Kate is wearing, the duchess herself was taken by a colourful necklace of beads strung around the neck of Auckland 8-year-old Lili Reynolds.

Lili stood on the wharf with a posy for Kate, a silver tiara on her forehead not far from the brain tumour she is being treated for.

Each bead marked an aspect of her treatment - five operations, radiotherapy, medication or injections. There were too many of them to count.

When Kate stopped to take her posy, she noticed the beads and knew what it meant - months of stress and illness.

"She said I was very courageous with all these beads on," Lili said.

"[She said] I hope everything is going well with your treatment."

Lili's father Shane Reynolds said she had known only for a couple of days that she was to meet the duke and duchess.

Chosen by the Make a Wish Foundation and Team New Zealand, she practised and practised to ensure she didn't muff her lines.

Her little sister Ruby, 6, had to pretend to be Kate, while Lili extended the posy and said: "Pleased to meet you, your Royal Highness."

All went well for the Reremoana School pupil, who recently had a brain tumour removed and is under treatment at Auckland Hospital.

"I was very excited to meet the princess," she beamed.

Prince William was OK too, though they did not talk as long.

He shook Lili's hand and asked how she was.

"I'm very good thank you," Lili offered, as the trio were doused by the heaviest rain to have fallen on any of the tour formalities.

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