NZ royal tour: Style wins out in difficult conditions

Maintaining eye contact is always important.
Maintaining eye contact is always important.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, gets up close and personal.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, gets up close and personal.
Wellington wind + hair issues + holding a baby + coming down steep stairs is a very tricky equation, and the Duchess was bound to have a 'Marilyn moment' (don't worry Kate, all Wellington ladies have been there, and you dealt with it like the poised pro you are).
Wellington wind + hair issues + holding a baby + coming down steep stairs is a very tricky equation, and the Duchess was bound to have a 'Marilyn moment' (don't worry Kate, all Wellington ladies have been there, and you dealt with it like the poised pro you are).
Prince George has his eyes on the steps as his parents prepare their game faces.
Prince George has his eyes on the steps as his parents prepare their game faces.
Prince William looks a little worried, but Muritai school students, from left, Milly Griffiths, 12, Charlotte Barclay, 12, and Sally Bird, 12, are all barely contained excitement.
Prince William looks a little worried, but Muritai school students, from left, Milly Griffiths, 12, Charlotte Barclay, 12, and Sally Bird, 12, are all barely contained excitement.
Did the Prime Minister John Key just say: Welcome to the republic of NZ?
Did the Prime Minister John Key just say: Welcome to the republic of NZ?
Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, is all smiles.
Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, is all smiles.
Jawlines to the front and work it, family, work it.
Jawlines to the front and work it, family, work it.
Prince George cuts a jaunty figure with his upturned collars and perfectly formed cheeks.
Prince George cuts a jaunty figure with his upturned collars and perfectly formed cheeks.
Prince George appears to have seen enough of his dad on the flight over.
Prince George appears to have seen enough of his dad on the flight over.
It's cold and damp in Wellington. Does Prince George need a hat too?
It's cold and damp in Wellington. Does Prince George need a hat too?
Prince George and Prince William have very similar hair, don't they?
Prince George and Prince William have very similar hair, don't they?
Riders in the storm. Police guide the royal entourage around Oriental Parade to Government House.
Riders in the storm. Police guide the royal entourage around Oriental Parade to Government House.
Hair, hair. Amanda Cook Tucker (R), hairdresser of Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, walks from a plane after arriving in Wellington.
Hair, hair. Amanda Cook Tucker (R), hairdresser of Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, walks from a plane after arriving in Wellington.
They're not traveling light. NZ Air Force staff and members of the royal couple's entourage see to the luggage.
They're not traveling light. NZ Air Force staff and members of the royal couple's entourage see to the luggage.
A group of Wellington fans help Woman's Day get their marketing pitch across.
A group of Wellington fans help Woman's Day get their marketing pitch across.
Katie Subritzky, practising her curtsey for the Royals visit to Wellington.
Katie Subritzky, practising her curtsey for the Royals visit to Wellington.
Wellington man Pat Kronfeld had been walking dog Indy when he noticed the commotion. "We just happened to walk past," he said, holding Indy up for a better view.
Wellington man Pat Kronfeld had been walking dog Indy when he noticed the commotion. "We just happened to walk past," he said, holding Indy up for a better view.
There were more people there than this, we promise. Royal fans take shelter at Wellington Airport.
There were more people there than this, we promise. Royal fans take shelter at Wellington Airport.
The plane carrying the royal family matches the conditions. We would have liked a little more colour - just a dash.
The plane carrying the royal family matches the conditions. We would have liked a little more colour - just a dash.
The low fog caused havoc this morning but the royal couple and Prince George managed to land just after midday.
The low fog caused havoc this morning but the royal couple and Prince George managed to land just after midday.

Trust Wellington's weather to blow even more drama into the royal tour, with a water-laden southerly drawing a frown from wee Prince George, then exposing his mother's regal legs.

Had the 8-month-old prince been asked and been able to answer the age-old question posed to tourists, "what do you think of New Zealand so far, mate?" he might have replied "yukky".

"One is not amused," was written across his face as he got his first salty blast from a Wellington sea breeze, emerging from the RNZAF aircraft nestled in his mother's arms.

DAY 10, WELLINGTON: Kate wears a skirt-suit she wore back in April 2012 that was crafted by Wellington-born designer Rebecca Taylor. She accessorised with a super cute puppy.
DAY 10, WELLINGTON: Kate wears a skirt-suit she wore back in April 2012 that was crafted by Wellington-born designer Rebecca Taylor. She accessorised with a super cute puppy.
DAY 10, WELLINGTON: The look was chic and very appropriate for a visit to the Police College.
DAY 10, WELLINGTON: The look was chic and very appropriate for a visit to the Police College.
DAY EIGHT, CHRISTCHURCH: The Duchess wore a customised red suit by Italian label, Luisa Spangoli with black suede pumps - the perfect red and black outfit for a day in Canterbury.
DAY EIGHT, CHRISTCHURCH: The Duchess wore a customised red suit by Italian label, Luisa Spangoli with black suede pumps - the perfect red and black outfit for a day in Canterbury.
DAY EIGHT, CHRISTCHURCH: The highlight of the beautiful outfit was the flattering peplum hem on the 100 per cent wool jacket, it just sits so nicely on Kate.
DAY EIGHT, CHRISTCHURCH: The highlight of the beautiful outfit was the flattering peplum hem on the 100 per cent wool jacket, it just sits so nicely on Kate.
DAY SEVEN, QUEENSTOWN: The Duke and Duchess sported classic, neutral outfits while they enjoyed some local wine in sunny (hoorah!) Queenstown.
DAY SEVEN, QUEENSTOWN: The Duke and Duchess sported classic, neutral outfits while they enjoyed some local wine in sunny (hoorah!) Queenstown.
DAY SEVEN, DUNEDIN: The epitome of casual chic - Kate wore a white jumper, skinny jeans and casual flats during the junior ripper rugby match.
DAY SEVEN, DUNEDIN: The epitome of casual chic - Kate wore a white jumper, skinny jeans and casual flats during the junior ripper rugby match.
DAY SEVEN, DUNEDIN: The Duchess shared a laugh with her hubby before hanging out with Richie McCaw on the sideline.
DAY SEVEN, DUNEDIN: The Duchess shared a laugh with her hubby before hanging out with Richie McCaw on the sideline.
DAY SEVEN, DUNEDIN: Kate looked lovely in her first New Zealand-designed frock of the tour - an aquamarine Emilia Wickstead dress.
DAY SEVEN, DUNEDIN: Kate looked lovely in her first New Zealand-designed frock of the tour - an aquamarine Emilia Wickstead dress.
DAY SEVEN, DUNEDIN: The cut of the NZ-designed dress suits Kate's willowy figure down to the ground - we love the knife-pleated skirt.
DAY SEVEN, DUNEDIN: The cut of the NZ-designed dress suits Kate's willowy figure down to the ground - we love the knife-pleated skirt.
DAY SIX, WAIKATO: The Duchess wore a green zip-front coat by Canadian designer Erdem for her tour of the Waikato.
DAY SIX, WAIKATO: The Duchess wore a green zip-front coat by Canadian designer Erdem for her tour of the Waikato.
DAY SIX, WAIKATO: Many commentators were disappointed with the look as it wasn't nipped in at the waist, but we like it as it's that bit different and, let's face it, that colour is amazing on her.
DAY SIX, WAIKATO: Many commentators were disappointed with the look as it wasn't nipped in at the waist, but we like it as it's that bit different and, let's face it, that colour is amazing on her.
DAY FIVE, AUCKLAND: Kate's nautical look, the perfect outfit for a day out on a yacht with Kiwi legend Dean Barker.
DAY FIVE, AUCKLAND: Kate's nautical look, the perfect outfit for a day out on a yacht with Kiwi legend Dean Barker.
DAY FIVE, AUCKLAND: Action shot - Kate takes off her blazer and dons an NZ cap (will we all be wearing those now too?) for her moment at the helm.
DAY FIVE, AUCKLAND: Action shot - Kate takes off her blazer and dons an NZ cap (will we all be wearing those now too?) for her moment at the helm.
DAY FIVE, AUCKLAND: We love our Ray Bans even more now ... if only we had such perfectly white gnashers.
DAY FIVE, AUCKLAND: We love our Ray Bans even more now ... if only we had such perfectly white gnashers.
Prince William talks with a girl about her broken arm as he meets family of RNZAF staff.
Prince William talks with a girl about her broken arm as he meets family of RNZAF staff.
DAY FOUR, WELLINGTON: The Duchess wore a bespoke fit and flare dress by Jenny Packham for the event at Government House.
DAY FOUR, WELLINGTON: The Duchess wore a bespoke fit and flare dress by Jenny Packham for the event at Government House.
DAY FOUR, WELLINGTON: The dress featured a hand-crafted silver fern on the shoulder, the perfect nod to Kiwi culture.
DAY FOUR, WELLINGTON: The dress featured a hand-crafted silver fern on the shoulder, the perfect nod to Kiwi culture.
DAY FOUR, BLENHEIM: The Duchess wore a slightly-custom peplum coat by Alexander McQueen - a perfectly-pitched outfit for a moving occasion.
DAY FOUR, BLENHEIM: The Duchess wore a slightly-custom peplum coat by Alexander McQueen - a perfectly-pitched outfit for a moving occasion.
DAY FOUR, BLENHEIM: She utilised the classic trick of wrapping her own hair around her ponytail - see below for a how-to; and wore navy suede shoes.
DAY FOUR, BLENHEIM: She utilised the classic trick of wrapping her own hair around her ponytail - see below for a how-to; and wore navy suede shoes.
DAY FOUR, BLENHEIM: Kate's beautiful cornflower blue coat featured pleating at the back.
DAY FOUR, BLENHEIM: Kate's beautiful cornflower blue coat featured pleating at the back.
DAY THREE, PLAY DATE: The $750 Tory Burch dress worn by the Duchess of Cambridge for her play date with Kiwi mums - a dress that allowed her to look glamorous and also crawl on the floor after her wee lad.
DAY THREE, PLAY DATE: The $750 Tory Burch dress worn by the Duchess of Cambridge for her play date with Kiwi mums - a dress that allowed her to look glamorous and also crawl on the floor after her wee lad.
DAY THREE, PLAY DATE: The Rachel Riley dungarees that Prince George wore to his hang with Kiwi bubs. They retail for a whopping NZ$148 but are still sure to sell out from the online store in a matter of hours #royalobsession.
DAY THREE, PLAY DATE: The Rachel Riley dungarees that Prince George wore to his hang with Kiwi bubs. They retail for a whopping NZ$148 but are still sure to sell out from the online store in a matter of hours #royalobsession.
DAY THREE, PLAY DATE: Prince George found himself temporarily 'over' his Mary-Lou doll accessory, throwing it to the ground and leaving his mum to pick it up.
DAY THREE, PLAY DATE: Prince George found himself temporarily 'over' his Mary-Lou doll accessory, throwing it to the ground and leaving his mum to pick it up.
DAY ONE, ARRIVAL: The Duchess of Cambridge wears a Catherine Walker coat (she was Princess Diana's favourite designer), a silver fern brooch and a Gina Foster hat. Prince George wears a cute cream cardi', white cotton shorts, possibly chilly legs and rocks the cutest cheeks ever.
DAY ONE, ARRIVAL: The Duchess of Cambridge wears a Catherine Walker coat (she was Princess Diana's favourite designer), a silver fern brooch and a Gina Foster hat. Prince George wears a cute cream cardi', white cotton shorts, possibly chilly legs and rocks the cutest cheeks ever.
DAY ONE, ARRIVAL: Wellington wind + hair issues + holding a baby + coming down steep stairs is a very tricky equation, and the Duchess was bound to have a 'Marilyn moment' (don't worry Kate, all us Wellington ladies have been there, and you dealt with it like the poised pro you are).
DAY ONE, ARRIVAL: Wellington wind + hair issues + holding a baby + coming down steep stairs is a very tricky equation, and the Duchess was bound to have a 'Marilyn moment' (don't worry Kate, all us Wellington ladies have been there, and you dealt with it like the poised pro you are).
DAY ONE, ARRIVAL: Wills' suit is certainly well tailored.
DAY ONE, ARRIVAL: Wills' suit is certainly well tailored.
DAY ONE, ARRIVAL: Kate wears a silver fern brooch from 1953 on loan from The Queen - complemented by amazing engagement ring and cute baby.
DAY ONE, ARRIVAL: Kate wears a silver fern brooch from 1953 on loan from The Queen - complemented by amazing engagement ring and cute baby.

Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, had problems of her own as she descended the stairs toward her first footfall on New Zealand soil, fighting to keep her dazzling red coat and dress from flying asunder.

Alongside her, Prince William proved a master of New Zealand conditions; he's been here before, and was unruffled by the misty mayhem.

For much of the morning, low mist that disrupted air travellers threatened to divert the royal trio to Ohakea, more than two hours away by road.

WET WELCOME: Catherine, carrying George, and William arrived to a misty, windy Wellington day.
WET WELCOME: Catherine, carrying George, and William arrived to a misty, windy Wellington day.

In the end all it did was delay their arrival by about 20 minutes, which must have felt much longer for the several hundred royal watchers lining the airport fences in the rain.

It could be the rousing cheer they emitted when the princes and duchess stepped into view was due simply to relief they were no longer doomed to perish from hypothermia in a bleak industrial area.

More likely it was they were instantly captured by the elegant charm of the duchess, the leg-wriggling cuteness of the bare-headed Prince George, and Prince William, whose love of rugby and Christchurch visit after the 2011 quake have sealed his place in Kiwi hearts.

If you were a reality TV judge tasked with voting one of them off the tour, you'd be in a tight spot. En masse, they may have just embarked on one of the most popular royal tours in New Zealand history.

One thing's certain though, Kate wouldn't be voted off first. In real life she lives up to the people's princess image, a smile that cut through the drizzle, and a sense of fashion that drew "ohs" from onlookers.

"She looks lovely in her red, even in this weather," royal fan Edna Hurd observed.

Kate's red was a double-breasted coat, by French label Catherine Walker, whose designs were favoured by Princess Diana, William's mother who brought him to New Zealand as a toddler in 1983.

In another nod to tradition, Kate wore a diamond and platinum silver fern brooch that was a Christmas gift from the Women of Auckland to Queen Elizabeth on her 1953-1954 tour.

Her hat was a bright red pillbox designed by Gina Foster, her shoes by British label Emmy, according to fashionistas.

Whatever, Kate pulled a difficult day off with style. At Government House, where the family is based, she was smiling and fearless when faced with a bare-buttocked Maori warrior.

Even with an entourage to primp and preen, it was no easy task flying from Britain for upward of 25 hours with a toddler.

To those of us who've endured cattle class, it sounds so easy. Plenty of leg room on the plane, a bed, and when you land no queue at the passport line; no nervous wait at quarantine; no suspicious looks at immigration, and a limo instead of having to hail a taxi.

But commoners don't have to look perfect when they get off the plane, knowing news media cameras are waiting to record messy hair, or bags under the eyes.

And they can slink off home to bed, dodging a tarmac meet and greet with Prime Minister John Key and Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown.

No wonder the royals are having today off to recover.

Fairfax Media