Royal tour: a capital sendoff

04:32, Apr 16 2014
Crowds gather for royals
Earlier in the day, crowds lined the drive to the Royal New Zealand Police College for the Duke and Duchess' arrival.
royals in wellington
Police recruits formed a guard of honour for the arrival of the royal couple.
royals in wellington
The royal motorcade was greeted by a police salute.
Royal tour in Wellington
Wellington saved its worst weather for last with umbrellas a must for Wills and Kate on the final day of their New Zealand tour.
Royal tour in Wellington
Police staff welcomed Wills and Kate to the Royal New Zealand Police College.
Royal tour in Wellington
In Wellington's Civic Square royals fans of all ages gathered early today in the wet for their chance to meet the Duke and Duchess.
Royal tour in Wellington
Cameras were at the ready as royals fans lined Wellington's Civic Square ahead of Wills' and Kate's arrival.
Royal tour in Wellington
Warm drinks were the order of the day as royals fans weathered the wet wait.
Royal tour in Wellington
Some Wellington royals fans showed their support for Wills and Kate with some magazine cut-out signs.
Royal tour in Wellington
Iris Pouao, 7, who has undertaken chemotherapy to fight a brain tumour, got her chance to meet Prince William at the police college.
Royal tour in Wellington
Kate's police puppy thought the time was right for a doze.
Royal tour in Wellington
Vantage points were scarce in Wellington's Civic Square ahead of the royals' arrival.
Royal tour in Wellington
A royal wave from Prince William as he and Kate arrived in central Wellington.
Royal tour in Wellington
He couldn't be happier.
Royal tour in Wellington
Formal duties can't wait for sunshine, with a serviceman doing his best to keep Wills and Kate dry as they lay a wreath at the police college's remembrance wall.
Royal tour in Wellington
Wills and Kate waved to the crowd as Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown welcomed them to the city.
Royal tour in Wellington
Earlier, police dog puppies were lucky enough to get some royal affection at the Royal New Zealand Police College.
Royal tour in Wellington
Some children were lucky enough to be plucked from the crowd to meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Royal tour in Wellington
Accepting the chocolate, William reportedly commented: "These will be perfect for the long flight."
Royal tour in Wellington
There were solemn moments on the royals' tour of the police college.
Royal tour in Wellington
It was a dream come true for these girls who got their chance to meet Kate.
Royal tour in Wellington
In Wellington's Civic Square, Wills and Kate appeared excited by the gift of chocolate a royals fan gave them.
Royal tour in Wellington
There was time for a chuckle in the rain though.
Royal tour in Wellington
A meeting with the Duchess was always a good reason to get dressed up.
Royal tour in Wellington
Flowers always made a great gift for a royal.
Royal tour in Wellington
Like a rock concert mosh pit, it was a push to the front for a chance to see Kate in Wellington's Civic Square.
Royal tour in Wellington
It was standing room only in central Wellington for the thousands of royals fans hoping for a glimpse of Wills and Kate.
Royal tour in Wellington
Wills, Kate and George waved goodbye to New Zealand as they boarded a Royal Australian Air Force plane at Wellington Airport.
Royal tour in Wellington
The royals' wet and windy day in Wellington came to a close as Kate, Wills and George boarded their flight to Sydney.
Royal tour in Wellington
Always gracious, Kate thanked a girl for her gift while on walkabout in Wellington's Civic Square.
Royal tour in Wellington
New Zealand Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae and wife Lady Janine escorted the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, with baby George, to their plane.
Royal tour in Wellington
It was cameras to the fore in Civic Square as royals fans got snap-happy around Prince William.
Royal tour in Wellington
A nun's day was made when she got the chance to meet Kate in central Wellington.
Royal tour in Wellington
Kate was impressed with this girl's dress.
Royal tour in Wellington
Wills accepts a gift from this excited royals fan in Wellington's Civic Square.
Royal tour in Wellington
George didn't look too happy en route to the plane - maybe he didn't want to leave NZ.

With a wriggle from the little prince and waves from the duke and duchess, the royal roadshow has left New Zealand for Australia.

The royal family took off from Wellington Airport in an Australian Air Force plane shortly after 1pm.

Kate and William, carrying a wriggling baby George, walked calmly on to the tarmac and stopped at the foot of the plane steps to shake the hands of officials, including Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae.

Onlookers crowded around the fence surrounding the airport, some calling out "goodbye".

While the skies were ominously grey, the rain held back.

But the city's parting gift was a strong gust of Wellington wind that swept through Kate's hair as she and her husband waved farewell to New Zealand one last time, before the plane doors closed.


The royals flew to Australia where they thousands turned out for an official welcome at the Sydney Opera House.


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were earlier given a warm farewell by tens of thousands of fans in Wellington's Civic Square.

After a morning of torrential rain, the sun came out just before the couple's arrival, to cheers from the expectant crowds. Some had been camped out in the best, but sodden, positions since 6.30am.

Thousands of Union Jacks waved and hundreds of posies were thrust forward. A rousing cheer went up whenever William or Catherine waved, or merely glanced, at a section of the crowd.

They slowly worked their way along the waving hands and raised camera phones, appearing in no rush to get to the airport.

One little girl who caught both royals' attention was Upper Hutt 11-month-old Ruby Cate Blitz, who was wearing a T-shirt that read: "Marry me George".

The shirt caught Prince William's eye and he chatted to her parents Rob and Marqueney. William had asked Ruby's name, and told her parents "she's absolutely beautiful".

Kate was standing nearby and William called his wife over.

Marqueney Blitz told the duchess "My daughter's going to marry your son". Kate told her Ruby was beautiful.

"I'm just fizzing," she said.

Marqueney now plans to make a T-shirt for Ruby for every royal visit, just to remind the couple of the juvenile engagement.

"Seriously, that's it. It's a done deal," she said.

The royal arrival on Wakefield St was preceded by a motorcade of four police motorcycles, three police cars and six cars full of plain-clothes security staff.

Yet despite the ring of minders, many in the crowds got a personal moment with the duke or duchess, or both.

Four children of Phoenix football club staff were on hand, in uniform, to collect gifts given to the royals. Halfway through the outing they were laden with toys, cards, and flowers, and needed to offload the bounty and begin again.

By the end of the walkabout William's wrists were laden with coloured friendship bracelets given to him by admirers. Kate also sported a black and neon-yellow bracelet.

Groups of fans bayed at the couple to come their way, but were often starstruck when the royals did.

"Oh my god," one group of girls was heard to say when Kate headed their way. "Oh, I'm shaking!" one told her friend afterwards.

It was a short walk for William and Kate to the motorcade, one punctuated with waves to the crowd on the pedestrian bridge above.

The duchess climbed in the back-left, the duke in the other side, the doors closed and the convoy moved off to cries of "byeeeee".

Civic Square emptied quickly, with dozens of Union Jack flags trampled into the wet brick pavers.

Some royal fans would have departed wet, cold, and disappointed that their gifts went unpresented.

Dozens, however, left the square elated, no doubt vowing not to wash their hands for a week after a once-in-a-lifetime royal handshake.


Earlier the couple met police - including the youngest and furriest recruits - at the Royal New Zealand Police College in Porirua. They gave police puppies the royal treatment after more formal duties at the college.

The duke and duchess attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the Memorial Wall to honour police officers killed by criminal acts while performing their duties.

Local high school children, who were warned to behave or else, had front seats at the ceremony.

High ranking police made up the bulk of the rest of the audience.

William and Kate were greeted with a karakia and the police choir sang a waiata.

With thunder and lightning overhead, police dogs and owners alike cowered in the downpour.

William and Kate cuddled puppies, and then moved on to meet older dogs and their handlers.

While William talked with an owner, Kate affectionately scratched the head of a german shepherd.

Kate stopped on her way into the gym to be greeted by a young girl who handed her a posy.

The pair moved on to the next family - the Boles and their foster pup Gessy. Eight-year-old Morgan handed Kate a plush puppy for George.

Prince William called it sweet and Kate said she'd name it Gessy, after the puppy.

The pair were shown around the police college gym, with officers demonstrating training techniques of how to deal with aggressive offenders, along with forcing offenders on to the ground, and cuffing them.

They were presented with a gift for Prince George, a T-shirt that is a mock police uniform. Other presents given to the eight-month old during this tour include a cricket shirt, a bike and an amphibious boat.

Kate was wearing a blue tweed Rebecca Taylor skirt suit and navy suede Alexander McQueen pumps. Her wet morning showed in her stockings - their heels were dyed blue from her sodden shoes. William wore a navy suit, white shirt and red tie.

Taylor went to school in Wellington, then studied fashion design at Wellington Polytechnic, a course now offered by Massey University.

Her sister, Victoria Taylor, is the founder of Wellington-based jeweller Tory & Ko which provided some jewellery to the duchess ahead of the tour.

Rebecca Taylor worked on film-maker Sir Peter Jackson's Meet the Feebles, before heading to New York.

Kate often wears her tailored designs.

Reporting by Siobhan Downes, Andrea O'Neil, Katie Kenny and Kevin Norquay.

The Dominion Post