Prince William and Kate Middleton have been charming locals they’ve met during their royal tour of New Zealand, and Friday morning’s visit to an Air Force base was no different.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge caught an early flight from Wellington to travel to the Royal New Zealand Air Force base of Whenuapai, near Auckland.
As they touched down, excitement mounted among the crowds who had gathered behind barriers in the streets to welcome their Royal Highnesses.
William, 31, and Kate, 32, drove straight to Whenuapai — home to more than a thousand serving airmen and women, and the largest air force base in New Zealand — where they were greeted warmly by base personnel and their families.
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While the royal engagement was an informal one and took place in a hangar just next to the runway, the Duchess didn’t hesitate in putting together another one of her stylish outfits for the occasion.
Wearing dark skinny jeans, a matching double-breasted Zara navy jacket with gold buttons and a Breton striped top, Kate looked chic as ever. The brunette beauty wore her trademark glossy locks down and completed her look with wedge heels.
The meeting at Whenuapai will have struck a chord with the Duke in particular, as just last year he retired from his job as an RAF search and rescue pilot based in Anglesey.
William looked right at home chatting away to the base personnel and admiring the aircraft. The second-in-line to the throne also took the opportunity to thank the military staff and their families for their service, as many of the personnel had recently served in operations overseas.
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As Kate left, she was presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and beamed and waved to the families around her.
William and Kate’s fleeting visit of less than half an hour was no doubt a highlight for the locals. The Duke and Duchess had to rush off to their second engagement of the day, which would require a drive into the city centre where they were, once again, met by the sound of cheering crowds.
Taking place in the early afternoon, the royal couple will each board a separate Emirates Team New Zealand Americas Cup yacht and sail around Auckland Harbour to take part in a series of an informal “matches”.
William and Kate’s son, eight-month-old Prince George, stayed behind with his nanny in Wellington. The royal family and their entourage have been based at the city’s Government House for their New Zealand leg of the tour.