Royals 'pining' to get back to Prince George

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 13:33 15/04/2014
Catherine and Prince George
Woolf/Crown
DOTING PARENTS: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge left Christchurch yesterday, keen to be reunited with young Prince George in Wellington.

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Prince George's doting parents were pining to get back to him after two days away from the eight-month old.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who returned to Wellington last night after touring Dunedin, Queenstown and Christchurch, are spending today making up for lost time with a full day's break from official duties.

''They both said they were looking forward to getting back to Wellington,'' said Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend, who hosted William and Kate for lunch in Christchurch yesterday.

''Queenstown was their first night away. When you have babies around changing time zones, I think George has adjusted to the new time zone just for them to take him away again.''

Townsend spoke to both the duke and duchess at the Wigram Air Force Museum before lunch, and called them ''a delightful couple'' who showed no pretention.

Townsend sat beside the duke at lunch and said the ''easy'' conversation was mostly centred on Christchurch.

''[We] stayed away from policy and politics,'' he said. 

''William loves this country and says it quite openly. One of his desires on this trip was to persuade the duchess that New Zealand was a great place, and I think he suceeded in that quest.

"She was certainly effusive in her praise for our country.''

William and Kate told him that highlights of the trip were yachting in Auckland - ''there is a fair bit of rivalry between them'' - and jet boating in Queenstown

The royal couple told him their conversations with families of those killed in the February 2011 quake at the Canterbury Television site in the morning was ''a very moving experience'', Townsend said.

William and Kate depart New Zealand for Sydney tomorrow afternoon, after their final public walk in Wellington's Civic Square.

Have you spotted the royals today? Send your photos or tipoffs to newstips@stuff.co.nz

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- The Press

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