Prince William and Catherine attend New Zealand reception

  • 10 April 2014
  • From the section UK
Media captionPrince William and Catherine laid a wreath at the Blenheim War Memorial

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have attended a state reception held in their honour as they continue their tour of New Zealand.

Prince William told guests at the event in Wellington that New Zealanders were warm-hearted, generous people.

He said they also had "an instinctive sense of justice and freedom".

In other remarks, he joked about the loud war dance used by the New Zealand rugby team, saying his eight-month-old son, George, did the haka at night.

Image caption Prince William unveiled this portrait of the Queen

Earlier, the duke and duchess paid their respects to New Zealand's war dead.

They laid a wreath in a service at the town of Blenheim's war memorial, and later met some of the approximately 5,000 people who had gathered for the occasion.

Prince William also unveiled a new portrait of the Queen at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery, by the artist Nick Cuthell.


On Wednesday, Prince George attended his first official public engagement at a "crawl-about" with babies of similar age at Government House in Wellington, with childcare group Plunket.

He will not be making any more appearances during his parents' 19-day tour of New Zealand and Australia.

Prince William also received a tiny teddy bear from a well-wisher and was given a friendship bracelet from a little boy and immediately put it on his right wrist.

Jan Cross, 55, who emigrated from Britain to New Zealand seven years ago, joked with William about looking after his son: "I said 'is George OK?' and William said 'yes' and I asked if he enjoyed himself at Plunket and he said he had.

"Then he said 'you can do some babysitting for us if you like'. I would love to help out with George for the day."

Image caption The duchess's attention was drawn to a baby in the crowd in Blenheim
Image caption People were eager to capture a view of William and Catherine
Image caption The duke and duchess attended a service at the town's war memorial
Image caption The duchess went on to meet and chat to war veterans
Image caption The duke climbed into the cockpit of a World War One biplane at an aviation museum, where they were given a tour by film director Peter Jackson

The young prince, who is teething, was the topic of conversation when the duke stopped to chat to Annette Michna-Konigstorfer, 55.

She said: "I asked him how his kid was and he said he hopes he's not chewing everything at Government House. William was fantastic and wonderful - I love all the royal family."

The royal couple were also given a helmet for Prince George when they visited Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre.

Peter Jackson - the film director behind the Lord of the Rings trilogy and an aviation enthusiast - showed the royal couple around the museum.

Image caption Peter Jackson took a picture of the duchess as she inspected a plane

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