Royal fans out to catch a slice of the action
Excited royal fans headed over the hill today in the hope of catching a glimpse of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge but they won't be seeing the world's most famous baby, Prince George.
The royals are in Blenheim for events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start ofWorld War I, while the baby prince will remain in Wellington.
The royal couple were to attend a public wreath-laying ceremony at Blenheim War Memorial and the Clock Tower at 11am and then take a public walk through the square. This afternoon they were to attend Flying Day - a free public event - at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre with film-maker Sir Peter Jackson.
The Allsop-Widley household of Cambria St, headed by staunch royalist Kymberly Widley, are among those on the outing from Nelson. She and husband Nick Widley, plus daughters Charlotte Allsop-Widley, 6, and Caroline Allsop-Widley, 3, plus six-month-old baby Vianne Widley, will be joined by a group of friends including Karen Jordan, Christie Vining, Lauren Lewis and Kate Coote, who are all keen to be part of the occasion.
"It's probably just because they're coming so close to Nelson we're going to see them, and our babies are of similar age."
Widley, 32, said she had always adored the royals, which was probably something to do with her mother's admiration of the Queen, who she saw in Nelson during a royal visit.
"The fact they're here, 1 hours from Nelson, means we couldn't miss it."
Widley said she and friends dressed up in wedding attire and had a proper wedding breakfast three years ago when they watched Prince William marry Catherine Middleton in April 2011.
Widley's husband is English, and they had done the royal tour of London, including Buckingham Palace.
She was impressed with the duchess' ability to exit the plane on arrival in Wellington on Monday, and walk down the steep, wind-buffeted aircraft steps wearing high heels while holding the baby.
"Oh my God - eight-inch heels . . . I couldn't even wear them in the wind."
Widley said others like her were also impressed with Prince William's involvement as a father.
"William's just a dad. You never saw Prince Charles doing things like that.
"For me, Kate is just quintessentially British. She's elegant, sophisticated and a fashion icon."
Widley said it was also nice to have an example of a modern family that could offer a little escapism.
"I like hearing about them. I like that it's a modern fairytale and in such a modern world it's great we have this tradition."