Christchurch will rise again: Prince William

11:02, Apr 14 2014
Catherine Duchess of Cambridge
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge boards her flight from Queenstown to Christchurch.
Royal tour in Christchurch
Olivia Paterson, Sam Paterson, Georia Voice (The Queen), Julie Voice, Tanyia Monk, Donna Baird, Jo Gardiner and Di MacDonald brave the cold in central Christchurch to give Prince William and wife Catherine a warm welcome.
Royal tour in Christchurch
Good vantage points were at a premium in central Christchurch, with these keen royals onlookers finding a spot on the city council building.
Royal tour in Christchurch
A royals fan gets her first photo opportunity of the day at Latimer Square.
Royal tour in Christchurch
Prince William and wife Catherine arrive in Christchurch refreshed after their night off formalities in Queenstown.
Royal tour in Christchurch
Wills and Kate fans who staked out the RNZAF terminal in Christchurch were the first Cantabrians of the day to enjoy a royal wave.
Royal tour in Christchurch
Royals fans gathered in Latimer Square in central Christchurch for hours before Prince William and wife Kate arrived.
Royal tour in Christchurch
The mark of a royal passenger.
Royal tour in Christchurch
Cantabrians gathered by the cardboard cathedral in central Christchurch where they hoped to get a glimpse of Wills and Kate.
Royal tour in Christchurch
Ngai Tahu formally welcomed Kate to Christchurch outside the city council building where she had a hongi with kaumatua Rik Tau.
Royal tour in Christchurch
Prince William sat with interpreter Kura Moeahu as he and wife Catherine were welcomed to Christchurch.
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Royal fans looking to pass the time while waiting for Wills and Kate at Latimer Square were treated to some underarm bowling from Sir Richard Hadlee.
Royal tour in Christchurch
Prince William and Kate met with families of people who died in the Christchurch earthquakes.
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Kate spoke with wheelchair-bound Marie Cochrane, whose son Stephen died in the Canterbury quake. She said "it was wonderful" to meet the Duchess.
Royal tour in Christchurch
Wills reportedly described the cardboard cathedral as "beautiful" as he headed inside.
Royal tour in Christchurch
Prince William and Kate met with church staff inside the Transitional Cathedral as a choir sang Hine e Hine.
Royal tour in Christchurch
Stacked eight rows deep in Latimer Square, people pushed their way forward to meet Kate, with many offering gifts for baby George.
Royal tour in Christchurch
Will was bemused by the mothers showing him what it was like having two children.
Royal tour in Christchurch
Prince William wasn't shy to have a bowl on the makeshift pitch in Latimer Square. His first ball was a wide, but after a few words from NZ cricket great Sir Richard Hadlee, he found his target.
Royal tour in Christchurch
Latimer Square was a heaving throng of people as thousands gathered for a chance to meet Wills and Kate.
Royal tour in Christchurch
Prince William took his chance to hold the ICC Cricket World Cup - an event New Zealand will co-host with Australia in 2015.
Royal tour in Christchurch
Kate was up to the challenge too - ignoring the fact she was wearing skirt and heels - taking the bat to face her husband's bowling.
Royal tour in Christchurch
It wasn't all pretty stuff from the Duchess, though she did hit two of the three deliveries bowled by Wills.
Royal tour in Christchurch
The crowd had hoped for some big hits from Kate.
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It was Wills who managed to strike it hard, hitting several deliveries high into the air. No fielder was able to claim a royal catch.
Royal tour in Christchurch
Like his bowling, Wills probably needed a few batting pointers after attempting to cross-bat a bouncer one-handed.
Royal tour of Christchurch
Back to the formalities in Christchurch and Prince William and wife Kate share a laugh before formally opening the Botanic Gardens visitor centre.
Royal tour of Christchurch
A group of mothers to twins met with Prince William in Latimer Square.
Royal tour in Christchurch
Those heels made it tough for the Duchess in the field.
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Her shoes didn't hinder her throwing skills, however.
Royal tour in Christchurch
Among the thousands of fans out in Christchurch to see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was the Wizard.
Royal tour in Christchurch
There were moments of form for the Duke though.
Royal tour in Christchurch
At the Botanical Gardens Wills and Kate got an inside look at some exotic plants.
Royal tour in Christchurch
The Botanical Gardens' glass house was a spectacle in itself.
Royal tour of Christchurch
Royals fans gathered outside Christchurch's Botanical Gardens to grab a glimpse of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Royal tour in Christchurch
Duchess of Cambridge was inspiring a new generation with Brooklyn Flammer, 4, Anika Rudolph, 4, Kate Orchard, 4, and Mieke Shulz, 3, all knowing what they wanted to be.
Royal tour in Christchurch
There was high praise for Wills from Sir Richard Hadlee who commented: "It's not a very wide pitch, there was no warm-up, and he bowled with a jacket on. I was impressed."
Royal tour in Christchurch
Royal fans in Christchurch fly the New Zealand flag for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Royal tour in Christchurch
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge pay their respects at the RNZAF memorial wall in Wigram, Christchurch.

Prince William has paid tribute to the resilience of Christchurch, saying he is looking forward to seeing the city rise again.

After a spot of cricket this morning, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived to cheers at the Air Force Museum at Wigram, site of their final official engagement of the day.

William last visited just after the deadly quake and said he was struck today by the ''resilience and adaptability''of the local people.

Despite the daunting job of rebuilding, Cantabrians have kept their ''classic Kiwi humour'', he said.

He cited three reasons why Christchurch was not defeated by the natural disaster.

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Firstly, ''this is your home'', secondly, ''you all care deeply for Christchurch ... and it's clear you want to do your very best for your city'', and the third reason he gave why Christchurch has a strong future, is because the people in the room today had decided to devote their energy, investment, time and skills in rebuilding.

''Christchurch is a city which has chosen not only to survive but to thrive,'' William said.

He said he and his wife were looking forward to coming back to see how the city takes shape.

''As you're aware, this is Catherine's first visit to New Zealand. And the two of us are phenomenally grateful for the way that we've been made to feel so very welcome,'' he said.

He said there had been ''many highlights'' during the visit. He joked that sailing was one of Catherine's, but perhaps not one of his.

There have also been ''a number of moving reminders'' of harder days in New Zealand's past.

Particularly poignant, in the centenary year of the start of World War I, were the war memorials they visited in Blenheim and Cambridge - which he said ''stand as simple tributes to the selflessness of those who have gone before in this great nation''.

Three years ago when he visited Christchurch after the February 22, 2011 earthquake killed 185 people, he remembers hearing of the courage of ordinary members of public, first responders, the student army, and ''many others in the aftermath of devastating earthquakes''.

''Both Catherine and I have found ourselves moved this morning by the reminders of how awful the second earthquake was.''

He asked the gathering to join him and his wife in passing on thoughts and prayers to those in the Solomon Islands who have been struck by a similar harrowing experience in recent days.

About 500 Christchurch business people were gathered at the air base for Christchurch's Redevelopment lunch, Future Focus.

They were sitting at 49 tables in the museum surrounded by old war planes, including an Iroquois military helicopter, and a Douglas C-47B Dakota, which carried the Queen on previous royal visits.

After the lunch, the royals emerged from the museum to be greeted by squeals of delight from the crowd. Kate gave them a wave.

They then each laid a single red rose at the Wall of Remembrance to pay respects to New Zealand's fallen airmen.

William and Kate also unveiled a new plaque saying "In recognition of all those RNZAF personnel who have served in peacekeeping missions throughout the world since 1948."

They gave a final wave before they got back into the motorcade set for the airport and a flight back to Wellington, and baby George.