Prince William, Kate Middleton and baby Prince George have arrived in Wellington to embark on their three-week tour of New Zealand and neighbouring Australia.
As the royal family stepped off the plane at the military terminal at around 1pm local time on Monday 7 April, the Duke and Duchess were greeted by a welcoming team and mirrored the Prince and Princess of Wales’ visit in 1983.
In spite of the long-haul flight and hours spent travelling from London, Kate, 32, looked fresh-faced and naturally radiant. The Duchess of Cambridge made a quick change of outfit after being spotted in a Max Mara wrap dress at Sydney airport. She stunned in a red regimental double-breasted coat with gold buttons a matching Gina Foster hat for her scarlet attire.
What stylish Kate may wear during the tour
Holding eight-month-old George in her arms and battling strong winds, the hands-on Kate reminded onlookers of her arrival to Mustique in January, when she joined the Middletons for their annual holiday and was pictured carrying the growing tot.
George looked as good as gold and kitted out in an adorable beige jumper with detail of two British soldiers on the right side at the bottom. Underneath he wore a white collared short, with ivory shorts which left he free to attempt wriggling free from the Duchess’ arms.
Proud parents William and Kate showed off their little boy to the well-wishers who had gathered to greet them at the airport. The Duchess looked particularly excited to be making her first trip to New Zealand, while her husband seemed thrilled to be back in the country he last visited exactly three years ago.
Prime Minister John Key, tweeted: “The Royals have arrived in Wellington. Let’s make them feel welcome, New Zealand.”
“There is no hiding the enthusiasm for this visit by both The Duke and The Duchess,” a spokesman for Kensington Palace has previously said. “The Duke has no doubt that his wife will fall in love with New Zealand and Australia every bit as much as he did, some years ago.”
See William and Kate’s three-week itinerary here
Following closely behind the royal couple was newly employed Spanish nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo. The full-time childminder, who was trained at the prestigious Norland College, will be taking care of George throughout the trip while his parents carry out their royal duties.
This was one of the few occasions that the public were able to see baby George. While Kensington Palace identified one or two times when Prince William and Kate could bring along their son to engagements, it is expected that George will be in the safe hands of his nanny for the majority of the trip.
The royal family were accompanied by the rest of their entourage, which included Prince William’s private secretary Miguel Head, Kate’s private secretary Rebecca Deacon, Sir David Manning, three press officers, a tour secretary, a personal assistant, a hairdresser and an orderly to help manage logistics.
The group had taken a special Royal New Zealand Air Force aircraft to fly to the Military Terminal in Wellington.
Before the tour abroad, the Queen had given special permission for Prince William and George to fly together as typically two heirs to the throne would not do so — the same consent she gave her son Prince Charles when he made the same trip to Australia in 1983 with a nine-month-old William and the late Princess Diana.
On Monday afternoon, Prince William and Kate will head out to their first engagement of the tour to Wellington’s Government House. The Duke and Duchess will be treated to a traditional Maori ceremonial welcome, also known as the Powhiri, where they will enjoy speeches, dancing and singing. The couple will also be presented with an inspection of the Guard of Honour.