Wills and Kate's dinner is on us

09:00, 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.
Royal tour in Christchurch
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.
Royal tour in Christchurch
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.
Royal tour in Christchurch
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.
Royal tour in Christchurch
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.

Bluff oysters, whitebait, a lamb rack and pavlova with hokey pokey ice cream will be on the menu when Prime Minister John Key hosts the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for dinner tonight. 

But what has been billed as a private dinner was actually being paid for by the taxpayer, he conceded.

The royal couple have been touring Christchurch today where they met families of the 2011 earthquake victims and managed to fit in a quick game of cricket.

Tonight they will sit down to dine with Key, his wife Bronagh and son Max at Premier House. 

Key said the menu would be a "showcase of New Zealand".

"Lots of appetisers - bluff oysters and whitebait, things like that.

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"The main course is rack lamb or snapper and the dessert is pavlova with hokey pokey ice cream."

He said the dinner was being catered by Ruth Pretty, at a cost to the tax payer.

When pressed on whether the dinner was private, Key said it "sort of is and it sort of isn't".

"My understanding is they were certainly keen to catch up, they were certainly keen to have something that was relaxed and in a fun environment.

"We were keen for them to come to the house [in Parnell], but they've been based in Wellington so it didn't suit their schedule."

Key said he did not know how much the dinner was costing.

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