The day it reigned

01:10, Apr 13 2014
The Royals in Camrbridge
Colonial Heritage Antiques owner Ken Sheldrick and shop assistant Margaret Grant were among the Cambridge townsfolk looking forward to today’s royal visit.
The Royals in Camrbridge
Stephen White and Wayne Green were busy setting up security fencing around the Cambridge Town Hall yesterday.
The Royals in Cambridge
Rolling out the red carpet at the Avanti Velodrome.
The Royals in Cambridge
Cathy Bazley camped overnight to get the best seat to view Kate and Will at the Cambridge Town Hall.
The Royals in Cambridge
The fans are out in force in Cambridge for Wills and Kate already.
royals, visit
We have touchdown - the royals have landed in Hamilton.
The Royals visit the Waikato
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Hamilton.
The Royals visit Waikato
The royals have only just touched down in Hamilton and Cambridge is already buzzing with activity.
The Royals visit Waikato
The Duchess has arrived at Rainbow Place.
The Royals visit Waikato
The Duke of Cambridge at Pacific Aerospace
The Royals visit Waikato
The Duchess with Bailey Taylor, 6, at Rainbow Place.
The Royals visit Waikato
The Duchess meeting kids in the Art Therapy Room of Rainbow Place.
The Royals visit Waikato
Excitement mounts in Cambridge as the countdown to the royal arrival begins.
The Royals visit Waikato
The Duchess meets The Flash at Rainbow Place. Flash's sister, Bailey Taylor, also met the duchess today.
The Royals visit Waikato
The Duchess meeting families at the Mad Hatter's Tea Party.
The Royals visit Waikato
The Mad Hatters Tea Party at Rainbow Place was a colourful affair.
The Royals visit Waikato
The Duke of Cambridge signed Hamilton city's guest book
The Royals visit Waikato
Loyal royalists Pauline Lisignoli, John Nahels and Judy Hoult wait for a chance to see Kate at Rainbow Place
The Royals visit Waikato
The Duke makes some new friends at Pacific Aerospace.
The Royals visit Waikato
The Duke watches Pacific Aerospace in action.
The Royals visit Waikato
Six-year-old Kaiya Miller from Matamata speaks with Kate. Kaiya suffers from cystic fibrosis (CF) was chosen to present the duchess with a bunch of flowers during her visit.
The Royals visit Waikato
The Duke and Duchess arrive in Cambridge and speak to townsfolk before entering the town hall
The Royals visit Waikato
The Duchess speaks a pair in Cambridge before entering the town hall
The Royals visit Waikato
The duke meets a young girl during his visit to Pacific Aerospace
The Royals visit Waikato
A young girl presents the Duke with a gift during this visit to Pacific Aerospace
The Royals visit Waikato
The mayor of Hamilton, Julie Hardaker, greets the Duke and Duchess upon the royal couple's arrival in Hamilton.
The Royals visit Waikato
The royal couple wave as they walk down bright yellow steps onto the tarmac.
The Royals visit Waikato
Prince William inspects the cockpit of a plane at Pacific Aerospace, accompanied by chief executive Damian Camp.
The Royals visit Waikato
Kate speaks with a young girl in Cambridge.
The Royals visit Waikato
The royal couple are presented with a new bike for Prince George at the Avantidrome.
Royal visit to Rainbow Palace
Lady Perdita and Georgia Stanwix wait eagerly for the royals.
Royal visit to Rainbow Palace
Some of the large crowd waiting in Cambridge for Wills and Kate.
Royal visit to Rainbow Palace
The prince moves in for the personal touch.

Any rough calculation of the turnout would have returned a figure somewhat larger than the resident population of Cambridge, so choosing the right spot in the "Town of Trees and Champions" was vital.

It would turn out tough for those who were on the wrong side of Victoria St.

At first, there were high hopes. Paul Judge was aiming for some international media attention and a nod of acknowledgment from Will. A film tutor at Wintec in Hamilton, he was waving a handpainted canvas with an artistic impression of an elephant and the words "Thanks William for protecting the animals".

"The focus on George is lovely," Judge conceded. "But we've got to remember the elephants."

Bella the British bulldog was wrapped in a St George flag and harrumphing like an old English chap in the corner of his gentlemen's club. "I can't wait," said Sarah Cockburn, once of Nottingham, England, but in Cambridge these past nine years. Wrangling Bella and her four offspring, all clad in red, white and blue, Cockburn had flags - large and small - hats, T-shirts and a Union Jack sweater, evading the national bunting shortage by getting it dispatched from England by her mother.

"You can't get it here," she said, in the tone of one who had tried. "I love William and Kate. She's so beautiful. My mum saw her and told me. I've got to get a photo of them for her."

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At five to one they arrived. A silver car swept past. "I don't know what we saw," said one man, bemused. "I think I saw William."

Kids on shoulders relayed sightings: "She's talking to a lady in a green jumper."

"Well," said one lady, consolingly. "We'll see it on the news tonight."

A man on tiptoes waved his camera above his head in an arc, firing the shutter wildly.

Prison guard Rodney Atkinson was sanguine. He'd been here since 10am. "Well, how often do you see something like this?" So far we hadn't seen much. "Everyone says 'she'," he observed. "Nobody talks about him."

It didn't amuse the crowd that William had been on our side of the car.

The drizzle came and chased Atkinson home to Hamilton. Judge's sign was doing duty as an umbrella of sorts.

One young fellow stood with his mates, idly chatting about speedway. "She looked at me," he claimed, to general derision. "Right in the eyes. Reckon she winked at me."

The giant TV screen beneath the town clock on which those on the wrong side had been relying finally showed some footage. There was some hand-shaking and smiles with some distant, fortunate part of the throng.

"What would you talk to them about?" wondered the young speedway fan. "Your hobbies and interests?"

There was a slightly better view to be had from the front deck of the National Hotel, where four matrons in tiaras sat behind a glass screen on which it was written: "William, fancy a pint?" The deck had been booked out over a week ago. It had been crazy, said duty manager Awhina Tipuna. Queues out the door since 10am. A big rush on Union Jack-wrapped fish and chips. She'd not stopped. "I saw Will's face, that's about it. And she's got a green dress on."

A cloud of jealousy had descended when it first became clear the Victoria Streeters had chosen the wrong spot. Now there was a sigh as the couple headed for their car and it became definitely clear there would be no up close and personal.

Instead, the silver car came again, and as it slowed at the roundabout, a window descended, a royal smiled and waved. Again, though, it was the wrong royal. This was a mortal blow. "Right, I've had enough," declared a bloke who'd been there nearly five hours, turning on his heel.

Judge wandered over with his sign. "I don't know if they saw it," he said. It was clear they had not. "Not much, was it?"

By the time the clock struck 2pm, most had already gone.

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