Hello everyone, and welcome to Day 4 of the Royal Tour.
This afternoon William and Kate made the short flight from Wellington, on New Zealand’s North Island, to Blenheim, located on the South Island. Their first stop was the Blenheim War Memorial where they launched a year-long series of events commemorating the First World War. More on today’s ceremony from Hello!
As William, 31, and Kate, 32, arrived at the town’s war memorial to attend the wreath-laying ceremony, residents cheered and looked delighted. The event was to remember those who had died in all wars, and to particularly commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the First World War, which falls in July of this year.
ITN’s Tim Ewart shared this photo of some of the veterans at today’s ceremony
The Daily Mail’s Rebecca English tweeted this photo of the couple as they observed the playing of the Last Post, a bugle call that is a British tradition.
More on the ceremony from Rebecca’s story in the Daily Mail:
The Duke and Duchess we both wearing commemorative poppy pins while William also sported his Gold and Diamond Jubilee medals.
They stood solemnly as the Last Post was played and the Ode of Remembrance recited and then approached the memorial to lay a wreath containing their handwritten messages to mark 100 years since World War One.
Tim Ewart also tweeted a photo of the wreath with the attached note from the Duke and Duchess, “Never forgetting those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, William and Catherine”.
Back to Rebecca’s story:
Thousands of flag waving royal watchers – some queuing from 4.30am to secure the best spot – had turned out to catch a glimpse of the couple at the ceremony, designed to pay tribute to those who have sacrificed their lives in conflicts throughout the centuries.
Twenty veterans of the Second World War – as well as more recent conflicts – were also present and due to be introduced to the royal couple at the end of the event.
During the walkabout William was given a friendship bracelet, which he promptly donned. Kate was also given one of the wildly popular bracelets, more on that from Victoria Murphy’s article in the Mirror:
Lilah Bowers, 10, who had turned out in a home-made Union Jack tiara with her sister Claire, five, gave the Duchess a black bracelet made out of rubber bands and was told by the royal visitor that it “could start a trend”.
Lilah, from Blenheim, said: “We asked her about Prince George and she said she would have taken him everywhere but he would have been a bit noisy.”
Many in the crowd had waited hours to see the Duke and Duchess.
Kate was clearly in her element, enjoying herself while meeting people in the crowd. This picture was posted on twitter by KiwiMrsMac.
The couple enjoyed a private lunch at the Wither Hills winery in Malborough before heading to the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre.
William and Kate were shown some of Sir Peter Jackson’s renowned collection of vintage aircraft at the Museum. Many readers will recognize Mr. Jackson’s name, he is the director of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and Hobbit prequel.
More on Mr. Jackson’s collection from Gordon Rayner’s story in today’s Telegraph:
Sir Peter, New Zealand’s most famous film maker, has been collecting First World War memorabilia since he was 12 and could not hide his enthusiasm showing the royal couple around the inside of the museum, which contains 20 of his planes displayed on dioramas depicting dramatic scenes from the conflict.
Here you see William and Kate chatting with Harcourt Bunt, a 92-year-old Spitfire pilot in WWII known as Bunty.
- both are made from a wool crepe fabric that is a blend of rayon and acetate
- both are belted with self-belt, both have “utility pockets,”
- both have concealed buttons and snaps
The powder blue as shown at Alexander McQueen ($3875).
And the black version ($3995).
Here is what I ultimately came up with to try and graphically describe Kate’s bespoke version of the McQueen coat dress.
Alexander McQueen also offers a Flocked Jacquard color ($7460) that is 100% cotton; there is also a creamy off-white color called ‘sand,’ that Sophie, Countess of Wessex has worn. The HRH Countess of Wessex blog has several pictures of the Countess wearing it, click here for that post.
Today the Duchess accessorized with her navy suede Stuart Weitzman ‘Muse’ clutch, available at Russell and Bromley (£245).
She also brought back her blue suede shoes.
Kate’s hair was styled in a high ponytail, the photo on the right shows the intricate way the ponytail is wrapped.
This was an outstanding look for the Duchess, sleek and elegant. The blue selected for the bespoke piece flatters Kate’s coloring and the ponytail was a welcome change.
We’ll be back shortly with a post on what Kate wears for tonight’s State Reception.
- Learn more the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre by clicking this link to visit its website
- Listen to bugle calls and learn more about Anzac Day at this site
- NewsOne has a video on YouTube of the ceremony, click here to see it
- The Telegraph’s story about today’s engagements is here
- The Daily Mail’s photo-laden story is here, you can read the Mirror’s live blog here,
- TVNZ’s ongoing blog may be read here
- the Sydney Morning Herald is keeping a running tally of what Kate wears