The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Australia and New Zealand with Prince George.
For some, it’s a once in a lifetime moment. For others, the hindrance outweighs the thrill of having the royals in town. Nevertheless, for monarchists, and even some republicans, experiencing a royal visit is more than a thrilling experience.
The royal tour down under began with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge briefly stopping in Sydney, before taking off to New Zealand. From rugby and wine sampling to jet boat racing, Catherine, William and baby George were treated to a cultural feast, as New Zealand really excelled for the royal arrival.
As pregnancy rumours circulated, attention turned to the Duchess of Cambridge as she sampled some of New Zealand’s finest wines.
Richie McCaw of the All Blacks met Kate and William, stating they were “just like normal people.” He continued, “I asked about their trip and they’ve had a pretty good time by the sounds of it. [Kate] said she’d always wanted to come to New Zealand, and obviously they’ve enjoyed it.”
Before trying their hands at a game of cricket, the Duke and Duchess visited the victims of the 2011 earthquake devastation, which resulted in 185 casualties and between 1,500 and 2,000 injuries.
The royal duo and their eight-month-old touched down at Kingsford Smith Sydney International Airport for their 10-day Australian tour.
The tour kicked off with an appearance at Sydney’s Opera House. On the second day, the couple visited Sydney’s Blue Mountains, where they met some of the victims of last year’s bush-fires.
On Friday, the couple attended Sydney’s Royal Easter Show, and it was unknown whether Prince George would accompany William and Kate. It was, however, revealed upon their show-stopping arrival, that the baby prince was to spend the day with the royal baby-sitter.
After meeting members of the public, observing giant pumpkins and watching a sheep shearing demonstration, it was off to prominent Manly Beach, where the Duke and Duchess were presented a surf board by Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott. The royal couple were also greeted by NSW Premier, Mike Baird and Prime Minister Abbott’s wife, Margie.
They then visited Bear Cottage, a children’s hospice. The centre’s nursing unit manager, Narelle Martin explained, “Part of Bear Cottage is about creating happy memories for children whose lives are shortened, and this is certainly going to create a very happy memory for those families”.
The Royals returned to Manly Beach, on Friday, where they watched a surf lifesaving display, with Kate running on the sand in her wedge heels.
While visiting the ‘red centre’ in Uluru, the heart of Australia’s Indigenous people’s culture, they observed a traditional Aboriginal dance ceremony. Unlike when the Duke visited with Charles and Diana when he was just nine months old, the duo did not climb the rock, due to the local customs being finally observed.
They ‘glamped’ during the evening, an activity which is like a combination of camping and sleeping in style in a $1,000 a night tent, waking up to a spectacular sunrise near Uluru, which is the world’s largest rock, located in the centre of Australia.
The Royals will return to Canberra, the nation’s capital, to mark ANZAC Day, 100 years after The First World War, after a quick visit to Adelaide in South Australia.
The family will leave Australia following the ANZAC Day services, most probably bestowing a renewed passion for the monarchy upon the people, at a time when the two nations becoming Republics seems increasingly likely.
– Alex Ditton, Correspondent (Oceania)
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