The highly-anticipated Royal Tour of Australia and New Zealand has finally begun! After months and months of waiting, speculating, predicting, and planning, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George of the Chubby Cheeks have landed in New Zealand to begin their 3-week tour!
Transfer at Sydney Airport
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge landed in Sydney around 8 a.m. local time aboard a Qantas flight. The Cambridges and their party took up the majority of the first class section of the flight. Quantas first class cabins, especially those on long-haul flights like London to Sydney, are known for extremely plush accommodations.
First-class accommodations aboard some Qantas London-Sydney flights
The plane routed through Dubai before concluding the 25-hour journey in Sydney Kingsford Airport. There were no tweets from fellow passengers or reports of babies crying throughout Quantas flights, so it is safe to assume the flight was quiet and uneventful.
Once the plane had landed, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George and their party awaited a luggage transfer. Afterwards, they boarded a RNZAF craft, which will take them from Sydney to Wellington, where the tour will officially begin. Local media were ready and waiting for the Cambridges to board the RNZAF craft.
To board the plane to Wellington, Kate wore her grey MaxMara wrap dress, seen last January. The jersey wrap dress is probably extremely comfortable and easy to put on for such an occassion. She also sported a new pair of shoes – tan suede courts with a low/medium heel. They look very much like the Manolo Blahnik “Suede BB Pump”. George was wearing a navy jumper, perhaps his Trotters Union Jack sweater or a new piece we haven’t seen before.
Prince William carried a stuffed Kargaroo bag aboard the plane, most likely for George but hey. You never know. The bag was a gift from the Australian Koala Foundation and has since sold out. Wills also carried a black medium Longchamp “Le Pliage” bag, which we also assume is not for him. (Poor William!)
The Cambridges did not offer a wave, but quickly and efficiently boarded their plane despite the media buzz. They were most likely anxious to get into the air, as the weather has been providing some trouble. Cloudy skies, fog, and rain has threatened to postpone their flights.
Arrival at Wellington Airport
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George, along with their royal party, arrived at the military terminal of Wellington Airport on a RNZAF aircraft just after noon local time. The weather in Wellington was causing a lot of trouble, prompting speculation that the landing could be delayed or diverted all together.
The Cambridges were greeted by over 400 members of the press, public, officials and the Prime Minister and his wife. Prime Minister John Key and his wife, Bronagh, met with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and George this summer while in Balmoral.
Kate wore a stunning red coat by Catherine Walker and pillbox hat by Gina Foster. Both pieces are bespoke. Kate’s shoes were suede pumps from Emmy, which she has worn before. The look has been called “very Jackie O,” a chic, timeless look that we love!
George of the Cherub Cheeks was casually dressed in a white Peter Pan collar shirt and shorts. This very fashionable look showed off those chubby baby legs!
After greeting various dignitaries and waving to the public, Kate handed George to his nanny, Maria, so she could shake hands. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge left for Government House for the ceremonial welcome.
Ceremonial Welcome at Government House
Immediately following their arrival at Wellington Airport, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were whisked to Government House to attend a formal welcome. Government House, the home of the Governor-General and his family, is the official location for many events in the next few days.
On the front lawn of the spacious house, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge received a traditional welcome ceremony, including a Maori Powhiri and the traditional Maori greeting, called a “hongi.” The ceremony also included an inspection of the guard and a 21-gun salute. Here, we see a traditional Haka performed by students:
It was an incredibly wet, rainy, foggy, yucky day, but that did not stop the festivities. William and Kate clearly enjoyed the ceremonies, which give a great glimpse into the vibrant culture of New Zealand.
Kate’s red Catherine Walker coat stood out amongst the crowds. From a window in Government House, George watched his parents on the lawn – undoubtedly babbling and drooling.
Despite the pouring rain, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge truly enjoyed themselves. The ceremonial welcome provides a taste of the next week and a half of New Zealand and Maori culture, which we look forward to seeing!
Tomorrow, there are no official engagements. The Cambridges will be resting and preparing for the rest of their tour.
On Wednesday, April 7, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George will attend a Plunkett Parents Group coffee date.