A quick update before we get to the day’s post: Kate and William spent a portion of last night out with friends at a Battersea bar, helping to celebrate the birthday of a good friend. I am not licensed to use the photos, but you can see them in the Daily Mail’s story. That’s a long way of getting to the point, Kate was wearing her Odele coat by Temperley London, carried her Mulberry clutch. It appears that Kate might have been wearing her New Dry booties, only available in the UK at Russell and Bromley. Others believe Kate might have worn her Episode ‘Angel’ suede shoes.
On to our primary purpose today, the plans for April’s Royal Tour of New Zealand and Australia. A couple of notes:
- This is merely the itinerary as provided by Kensington Palace; the bulk of today’s post is comprised of the bare bones information from the day by day schedule. Because the post is already quite lengthy we will save background about specific venues and events for our next post(s). That also applies to our ongoing series of reports focused on Australian and New Zealand designers the Duchess might conceivably wear in April, we will return to that topic in another post as well.
- Our only other item today: an insider’s perspective on the upcoming Tour, insight from someone who has been photographing members of the British Royal Family on tour since 1991; we’ll get to that potion of the post after you have seen the schedule.
MONDAY APRIL 7:
TUESDAY, APRIL 8:
- Recovery day for everyone, hopefully catching up after the 25-hour flight from London. William, Kate and George will spend this time at a private residence away from the city.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9:
- Return to Wellington to begin stay at Government House
- Attend engagement with the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society, a group more commonly known simply as “Plunket” in New Zealand. Dedicated to supporting healthy families, the organization offers health care and assistance to new mothers, fathers and their babies. There will be a group of new mums and babies at the event and there is a possibility Prince George might also attend.
THURSDAY, APRIL 10:
- Travel from Wellington (which is on New Zealand’s North Island), to Blenheim, located on the South Island
- Attend wreath laying ceremony in Blenheim, where Kate and William will also spend time with some of the WWII veterans at the event, along with those serving in more recent conflicts
- The next event is at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Center, a short distance from the memorial
- tour Knights of the Sky exhibit, which showcases Sir Peter Jackson’s collection of WWI aircraft and artifacts; many may better know Mr. Jackson as the man behind The Lord of the Rings trilogy and its prequel, The Hobbit Trilogy
- weather permitting there may also be a display of classic aircraft
- Return to Wellington, meet with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition
- Attend State Reception at Government House hosted by Governor General
FRIDAY, APRIL 11:
- William and Kate fly to Auckland, New Zealand
- Visit the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) base in Whenuapai, informal meet and greet with base personnel and their families
- Travel into the city centre, arriving at headquarters of Emirates Team New Zealand, participants (and winners) of many America’s Cup racing meets
- Kate & William are taken to two separate boats for some informal races (what may be referred to in the US as ‘sprints’) against each other, reminiscent of the couple competing against each other in a Dragon Boat race during 2011′s North American Tour
- Return to shore
- Go back into the Harbour aboard a Sealegs, an ingenious amphibious vehicle that was invented in New Zealand
- Return to Air Force base, return to Wellington
SATURDAY, APRIL 12:
- Kate and William begin the day with separate engagements in the town of Hamilton. Hamilton is located in the country’s Waikato region, on the North Island.
- The Duke spends time at Pacific Aerospace, visiting the company’s factory
- Kate will spend her time at Rainbow Place, a children’s hospice. She will meet children taking part in art therapy, as well as volunteers, nurses and family members.
- After reconnecting, the couple journeys to Cambridge, a town located in the center of New Zealand’s agricultural heartland
- The first stop will be at the Cambridge Memorial where they will pay their respects
- The Duke and Duchess will be able to enjoy the town’s central district
- Travel to New Zealand’s brand new velodrome, William and Kate officially open the facility, known as the Avantidrome, meet some of New Zealand’s Olympic medalists, watch races and see a BMX exhibit
SUNDAY, APRIL 13:
- The Duke and Duchess leave Wellington (George remains in Wellington) and travel to the South Island
- Arrive in Dunedin, welcomed by representatives of Ngai Tahu, the primary Māori Iwi, or tribe, of the South Island
- Attend Palm Sunday services at the Cathedral Church of St Paul
- Head to Dunedin’s renowned rugby arena, Forsyth Barr Stadium, watch a festival of “Rippa Rugby,” a contact-free game for children
- William and Kate will each coach a team as they face off against each other
- Fly to Queenstown, visit the Amisfield Vineyard for samples of the area’s wine, a rapidly growing business endeavor in the region
- Move on to the Shotover River for a whitewater rafting trip aboard a Shotover Jet, akin to what we call ‘jet boats’ here in the US. They will travel down the river at 50+ miles an hour, joined by young people employed in the local tourism industry
- Spend the night at a local Queenstown hotel
MONDAY APRIL 14:
- Leave Queenstown and travel to Christchurch, enjoying a formal welcome by Ngai Tahu in the community’s city centre
- A bit of background: this is the area hardest hit by the devastating earthquake in February of 2011, and where Prince William visited just days after the earthquake
- William and Kate will see some of the progress and rebuilding that has taken place since 2011, they will also take part in a brief ceremony remembering those killed in the earthquake
- Take part in a more upbeat event commemorating the Cricket World Cup coming to Christchurch in 2015, less than a year from now. (2011 Rugby World Cup matches were to played in Christchurch, but they were moved away because of the earthquake damage
- Travel to Wigram Air Force Museum, one of the area’s most popular attractions, where the Duke and Duchess will look at plans and schematics showing progress made thus far in rebuilding the city centre, as well as future plans for restoration.
- There will also be a business lunch staged at the Museum, hosted by the Christchurch Chamber of Commerce
- As they leave the Museum the couple will see the Memorial Wall, dedicated to those Royal Air Force members who died in service to their country
TUESDAY, APRIL 15: William, Kate, George enjoy a private day
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16:
- Visit the Royal New Zealand Police College, located on the outskirts of Wellington, a facility officially opened by William’s father, the Prince of Wales, thirty years ago.
- The couple will officially acknowledge the 29 officers who lost their lives in the line of duty
- This will be followed by a Mihi and Karakia, a traditional Māori greeting and prayer, the police kapa haka group
- Watch police recruits in training, and also see a police canine team in action
- Return to Wellington, with a stop in the city centre to sign the official Visitor’s Book, with the possibility of a walkabout
- Depart Wellington for 3-hour flight to Sydney, Australia
- Arrive in Sydney, New South Wales, early in the afternoon
- Travel to Sydney’s famed Opera House for a reception given by the Governor and Premier of New South Wales; William makes a short speech at this venue. Next, a trip across the Harbour to Admiralty House, where William, Kate and George will be staying during a portion of their visit.
THURSDAY, APRIL 17:
- The Duke and Duchess travel to the Blue Mountains located west of Sydney
- The couple will spend time with some of the families impacted by the bushfires that swept through the region last October, causing significant damage and also negatively affecting the area’s tourism industry
- Attend an as-yet unspecified event with residents and community groups
FRIDAY, APRIL 18:
- Attend the Royal Easter Show, an enormous annual event, held at Sydney’s Olympic Park. In addition to being a huge social gathering in New South Wales, the Show celebrates agriculture, rural art, and much more.
- The next event is in Manly, a suburb of Sydney. Kate and William will visit Bear Cottage, a children’s hospice
- The schedule then calls for a visit to the world famous Manly Beach, the attraction prompting Manly’s nickname of “Surf City”. William & Kate will watch a display of life-saving skills and honor the life-saving volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to keeping swimmers safe
SATURDAY, APRIL 19:
- Travel to Queensland, with the first stop at the Royal Australian Air Force base at Amberley, located about an hour from Berisbane. This is the RAAF’s largest operational base, employing about 5000 people.
- There will be an inspection of the Guard, then viewing of some aircraft and their crews.
- William and Kate will also go to the Amberley Memorial Garden, where they will plant a tree
- The tree-planting ceremony is followed by a reception with those on active duty with the Air force, along with veterans and their families.
- Travel to Brisbane where the first event is a reception hosted by Queensland’s Governor and Premier. The focus of the reception is young people, and the function is being held right in the city centere, there is an expectation William and Kate will be meeting some of Brisbane’s citizens and visitors
SUNDAY, APRIL 20:
- The Duke and Duchess start their day with Easter Sunday services at St. Andrews Cathedral in Sydney, the oldest cathedral in Australia
- The couple will sign the ‘First Fleet Bible,‘ the bible used in Australia’s first Christian service in 1788
- Next on the agenda, the Taronga Zoo, located on the shores of Sydney harbour.
- Their first stop at the Zoo is a Bilby enclosure that will actually be named after Prince George as part of the Prime Minister’s gift on the occasion of his birth. It is possible Prince George may also enjoy this portion of the day, he may join his parents at the zoo.
- There is more of the zoo to see, including the famed Taronga giraffes, tree kangaroos, and other creatures indigenous to this part of the world
- Travel to Australia’s capital, Canberra, staying at Government House
MONDAY, APRIL 21:
- Easter Monday is a public holiday in Australia; William, Kate and George will enjoy the day privately
TUESDAY, APRIL 22:
- Depart for Uluru, the Aboriginal name for Ayer’s Rock, a huge sandstone rock formation located inside Kata Tjuta National Park. Ayer’s Rock is the world’s largest monolith, as well as an Aboriginal sacred site
- Upon arrival at Yulara, a town located near the Rock, the duo will head to the National Indigenous Training Academy,
- Also to the Uluru Cultural Centre
- A “Welcome to Country” ceremony by members of local indigenous communities; Kate and William will also see an indigenous art display, followed by tea hosted by the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory
- The Duke and Duchess then head to the Uluru, given tips and direction by a local guide
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23:
- Fly to Adelaide in South Australia, more specifically to the suburb of Elizabeth, named after HM
- Visit the Northern Sound System, a youth-driven community music centre, where the Duke and Duchess will watch a skateboarding demonstration
- Head to the Playford Civic Centre for a reception hosted by the Governor and Premier of South Australia
THURSDAY, APRIL 24:
- The day’s agenda begins with a visit to the National Portrait Gallery
- The group then moves to Parliament House for a reception hosted by the Prime Minister,in the historic building’s Great Hall, Prince William will make a speech here
- Next, the pair travel to Australia’s National Arboretum, recently opened
- William and Kate will help plant a tree, and also spend time with some youngsters and their parents
- Return to Government House for a reception in honor of the Duke and Duchess, hosted by the Governor General, Her Excellency, the Honourable Quentin Bryce and her husband, Mr. Michael Bryce.
- NOTE: Ms. Bryce is to be replaced by a new Governor General, Peter Cosgrove, at some point in March. That means Mr. Cosgrove (and presumably his wife, Lynne) will be hosting the reception.)
FRIDAY, APRIL 25:
- Another bit of background: this is ANZAC day in Australia and New Zealand, a national day of remembrance for all Australian and New Zealand military who lost their lives in wars, armed conflicts and peacekeeping operations. The initials stand for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, the date initially honored those who fought at Gallipoli in World War I, also called the Great War
- Kate and William take part in the March and Commemorative Service at the Australian War Memorial
- Following the service the Duke and Duchess head to Defence Establishment Fairbairn and depart Canberra for the trip home to London
As noted above, we are able to share insight from a gentleman who knows quite a bit about royal tours, award-winning photographer Mark Stewart. He was kind enough to answer a few questions, helping to some insight and perspective on the plans for this tour. Mark has a unique perspective, having photographed Royal Tours since 1991, including the two previous tours undertaken by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Following are his answers to a few of the questions I asked him, we will have the majority of his interview in an upcoming post.
Q: How does this tour differ from others, particularly William and Kate’s North American Tour in 2011 and their Jubilee Tour in 2012?
A: The biggest distinction is the presence of Prince George because that creates an entirely new dynamic. This is the first time the Duke and Duchess will really be sharing Prince George publicly, really with the entire world. We really haven’t seen much of Prince George since last July, with the exception of the family photo taken by Michael Middleton, and then the christening, so there is quite a fascination with the Prince.
This is the first time we will see him as a group of photographers as well, as a group of media. It’s interesting in a way, people in Britain will be seeing more of him from halfway across the world than they have until this point. There is huge interest in him, the tour is already being called the ‘George tour’ amongst the press pack. I expect it will be quite something to see.
Q: I’m sure each Tour has its own personality, moments that you remember, venues or situations that were striking. What was one of your favorite parts of the North American tour ?
A: Seeing the Duke and Duchess competing against each other in the dragon boat races on Prince Edward Island. The weather made photographing things challenging because it was raining and we were all wet, the cameras and equipment were getting wet, it was really not ideal circumstances for taking photographs. But it was great fun as well, you could tell that the Duke and Duchess were really enjoying themselves. The situation created some very natural images, with one of the first public displays of affection between the couple. It was a moment that signalled a new generation of young, modern, royals.
This is one of Mark’s photographs from that event, taken immediately after the boat race.