Cambridge goes crazy for royal tour
Royal tour in CambridgeKEVIN NORQUAY, MIKE MATHER AND SIMON DAY
Prince William and Catherine have sent the small Waikato town of Cambridge into a flag waving frenzy.
Their royal convoy did a lap around the town, passing an estimated 15,000 royal watchers, most of whom got a mere glimpse of a silver limo passing by and a royal wave.
The couple received a rousing cheer when their car pulled up at the Town Hall and as they emerged from the car a Mexican Wave of Union Jacks fluttering rippled along the security barricades.
They had lunch inside the Town Hall for about 20 minutes, before emerging and walking to the Cenotaph commemorating the town's World War I fallen.
Each laid a red rose, bowing their heads in respect, then met former soldier Jackson Blyth, whose World War I veteran father Curly came from the town.
Prince William chatted happily to Blyth and to several of those seated in the pensioner area
He asked Blyth about his military service and that of his father, who lived until he was 105 after being shot and gassed in the war.
Blyth said he asked the duchess if Prince George would ever visit Cambridge, and his son handed her a children's book about Le Quesnoy, a successful World War I military operation his father fought in.
"She said [George] was back in Wellington, but she would definitely read the book to him," he said.
Royal watchers stood beneath the town's beautiful trees, were five deep along the main shopping street and some waited for up to five hours for a glimpse of the couple.
They were in good cheer, unless republican protesters wandered into sight or official vehicles blocked the view they'd fought for for so long.
Then they were swift to burst into a chorus of boos.
Shops that had done a roaring trade while fans waited, planned to close when the royal convoy drew near.
The whole town was covered in red, white and blue with even the sushi shop displaying Union Jacks.
Lady Perdita, a Pomeranian dog, waited in the arms of Georgia Stanwix, a former Miss England contestant now living in Cambridge.
"It's a Pom," her father, Jon Stanwix laughed.
KATE'S MAD HATTER PARTY
In Hamilton hundreds of fans lined the road to welcome the Duchess of Cambridge to Rainbow Place Children's Hospice.
Hamilton-based Rainbow Hospice is the children's branch of Hospice Waikato and the duchess has strong ties with children's hospices in the United Kingdom. She will use the outing as a fact-finding mission on palliative care, which she will take back home.
Catherine met the 48 children and their families being looked after by Rainbow Place, which deals with children who have life-limiting health conditions and those who have experienced the sudden loss of a loved one.
Among them was six-year-old Bailey Taylor. Bailey's mum, Jennifer Doolabh, stopped cancer treatment when she found out she was pregnant, and gave birth to a healthy baby boy in December.
Doolabh is currently undergoing radiation on her brain and was not sure she would make it to the royal encounter however along with her husband, Aneal, she attended the event at Rainbow Place.
On arrival at the hospice, Kate stepped out in a green Erdem coat with a Suzannah dress underneath. After a brief wave to the crowd she was taken to a private room for a briefing on the hospice.
Her visit includes a children's art therapy session and an extravagant Mad Hatter's themed tea party hosted in a marquee which has been fitted out for the occasion.
Catherine went on to join up again with William, who had been on his own solo outing at the Pacific Aerospace, for their public drive in Cambridge and the opening of the new National Cycling Centre of Excellence and Velodrome.
- Waikato Times
View marriage and birth notices from around the region
View obituaries from around the region