Your best bet to glimpse a royal
There's a right royal fever brewing in Cambridge and many of the locals are scheming up ways to get a prime position for a peek at William and Catherine when they hit town.
The Waikato's day to host the Duke and Duchess is April 12, when the couple will visit three main sites.
Trained pilot Prince William will head to Pacific Aerospace in Hamilton in the morning before he and Catherine head to Cambridge for a short walk and drive - billed as the best opportunity for people who want to catch a glimpse of them. After that, the pair will open the nearby Avantidrome.
In Cambridge, shopkeepers and residents were keen for any details they could get about what would happen on the day.
The ladies at Century 21 Ascot Realty joked about fencing off a viewing spot the night before or taking a royal cup of tea and scones as they pored over the route map for the royals' drive.
"It's probably something that we'll never get to experience again," Sandy Herewini said. Because William and Kate were a younger generation, she thought they would have a wide appeal.
Some of the women in the office were royal visit veterans who remembered seeing Queen Elizabeth on her visit in 1953. "The whole of Hamilton's main street was lined with people," Lesley Wiig said.
This time around they expected to be among thousands thronging the town hall and war memorial, and only wished their office had a second storey to serve as a viewing platform.
But there was another way to get close - the prize for the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce Right Royal Welcome window display competition is tickets to the Avantidrome opening.
Union Jacks and royal baby photos abounded in their shopfront, although last night the mannequin was still awaiting his RAF uniform.
And there was stiff competition from other shops, including Comins Pharmacy where UK import Alison Matthews had her eye on the Avantidrome tickets.
Sourcing the royalist memorabilia to fill the pharmacy window was no trouble, she had it all at home. Commemorative mugs and teacups sat alongside a book on the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, under a crown and Union Jack bunting.
Matthews said she was "very excited" about the royals hitting town and even had a flag at the ready for the royal drive and walk. "Hopefully I'll be able to squeeze between people and get to the front," she said.
It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and a buzz for the whole town, she said.
Work would stop her staking her claim on a a top spot early in the day, "but we're actually going to close for an hour or so, so that we can all go out and try to have a little view of the pair of them."
Serena Ross will also be working. She owns the Sample Room salon across from the war memorial where the royal couple are going to lay a wreath.
But she'll be busy with customers for a wedding that day so, if she does see the Duke and Duchess, it'll probably just be a quick glimpse.
Many Cambridge locals are planning to get as close as they can too, even if it means heading in early for a good spot.
"I don't know how you can't be excited about it, really," Rebecca Tubman said. "It's a huge thing for them to come to your town."
She was keen to see the Duchess in person but expected to contend with crowds of Cambridge fans and others from out of town. The only disappointment for her was that baby Prince George would remain in Wellington.
- Waikato Times
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