Today, William and Catherine continued their Royal Tour in Christchurch. The second largest city in New Zealand, which is known to be “more English than England,” suffered a devastating earthquake in 2011. Since then, Christchurch has made great efforts to restore the structure and morale of the powerful city.
It was a jam-packed day of activities, following yesterday’s many exciting events and outfit changes. After spending the night in picturesque Queenstown, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were set to enjoy a traditional Maori welcoming ceremony, a Cricket World Cup event, and a visit to open the botanical gardens.
Ngai Tahu Welcome Ceremony
Their Royal Highnesses began their visit to Christchurch with a formal welcome center in the city center from the Ngai Tahu – the principal Maori tribe of the South Island of New Zealand. At the ceremony, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met with the families of the victims and those affected by the 2011 earthquake.
The formal ceremony was followed by a brief tour of the Central Business District – the CBD. The area was catastrophically affected by the 2011 earthquake, and has since struggled to recover.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge saw the recovery efforts and remnants of the natural disaster. They visited the Transitional Cathedral – a cathedral erected while the original, iconic one is repaired.
The event wasn’t all sad though – the Cambridges seemed to enjoy the celebratory welcoming ceremony, meeting with children and residents, and viewing the hope and promise that Christchurch represents. They even met with five sets of twins!
Kate wore a red and black Luisa Spagnoli skirt suit, which we saw previously during her engagement in 2011 at an event at St. Andrew’s. Notably, that same day, Catherine wore the dress to sign the condolence book for the 2011 Christchurch Earthquake. It is very possible that Kate wore this dress in honor of that event. The Duchess of Cambridge accessorized with black suede Episode shoes and Mulberry clutch.
Amanda Cook Tucker, Kate’s hairstylist, certainly earned her keep today! Kate sported an intricate half-up hairstyle, much to the delight of royal watchers. The look showed off Kate’s stunning Anoushka pearl drop earrings and framed her face very nicely.
Cricket World Cup Event
After the events surrounding the regrowth from the earthquake, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended events surrounding the 2015 Cricket World Cup. In 2011, Christchurch was scheduled to host the Rugby World Cup but lost the opportunity due to the natural disaster. In an effort towards healing, the Cricket World Cup was assigned to the city.
William and Kate played a few games, especially impressive in suits and dress shoes! Kate managed to enjoy the sport, despite her four inch suede pumps.
It was another great event to engage with local youths, just like the Rippa Rugby events yesterday. The youngsters enjoyed meeting and engaging with the Royal Couple during this event.
Since the schedule was running about 90 minutes behind schedule. Kate didn’t change outfits as expected. However, her Luisa Spagnoli suit stood out amongst the crowds for easy sighting!
Opening of the Botanical Gardens
William and Kate were lucky to have such lovely weather for their next event – opening the new botanical gardens in Christchurch. Their Royal Highnesses arrived a few moments behind schedule to the cheers are screams of hundreds of locals.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met with staff before cutting the official “ribbon” to mark the grand opening. The “ribbon” was constructed of a beautiful floral garland, which had the lovely fragrance of freesias.
One man that met with Kate said she mentioned she grew her own vegetables at home! It was a lovely event for William and Kate, who both share an interest in agriculture and gardening.
Future Focus Luncheon
For their final event of the day, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Wigram Air Force Museum. They attended a “Future Focus” luncheon hosted by the Chamber of Commerce.
At the working luncheon, William and Kate viewed plans for current and future rebuilding of the city center. Local business owners and representatives joined the royal couple for this event.
William delivered a short speech at the luncheon, where he mentioned that there were many highlights of their tour, but Catherine beating him in sailing was not one of them. Following that, the Duke and Duchess unveiled a memorial plaque, recognizing the RNZAF personnel who served in peacekeeping missions.
While at the Air Force Base and Museum, William and Catherine made their way to the Memorial Wall to pay their respects. At the end of this event, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge boarded a RNZAF craft back to Wellington and Cheeks.