The Royal Tour headed to Christchurch today, on New Zealand’s South Island. Below, Kate takes part in another Hongi greeting as she and William are officially welcomed.
From Hello! magazine:
Christchurch gave Prince William and Kate Middleton the warmest of welcomes as they arrived in the city on the next stop of their royal tour.
Flags and cheering crowds greeted the couple as they alighted from their car outside the Christchurch City Council building, where they were formally welcomed to Christchurch by Mayor Lianne Dalziel and elder members of the Ngai Tahu tribe.
Christchurch is the area hardest hit by the earthquake that killed 185 people in February of 2011. Prince William flew to the area shortly after the disaster; below, he is shown speaking at the Memorial Service in 2011.
William and Kate met families who lost loved ones in the earthquake. Sizable crowds waited to see the Duke and Duchess, you can see them in a photo tweeted by Amanda Abate, a reporter for 7 News.
ITV’s Louisa James shared this photo of young ladies wearing their best tiaras as they awaited Kate and William’s arrival.
There was great disappointment when the Rugby World Cup matches scheduled for Stadium Christchurch had to be moved elsewhere because of the earthquake damage. Landing the 2015 Cricket World Cup tempers some of that disappointment for many. Today William and Kate took to the pitch with local school children as part of the countdown to next year’s World Cup.
From the Daily Mail:
Lee German, Chief Executive of the New Zealand cricket association and former New Zealand cricket captain said: ‘People involved in cricket have been looking forward to this day for a long time.
There is also a World Cup event in Sydney on the 16th.
He said: ‘As you all know, this is Catherine’s first visit to New Zealand, and the two of us could not be more grateful for the way in which we have been made to feel so very welcome. There have been many highlights from the past ten days in this beautiful country – Catherine beating me at sailing does not count amongst them, not for me anyway.’
He added:’There have been a number of moving reminders this week of harder days in New Zealand’s past – particularly poignant during this centenary year of the start of World War One.
Before leaving Kate and William went to the RNZAF Wall of Remembrance, dedicated to those Royal Air Force members who died serving their country.
Kate and William also visited the Botanic Gardens, cutting a ribbon to officially open the Christchurch Visitors Centre located at the Gardens.
Kate’s ensemble today honored the local colors of Canterbury, red and black. More on that significance from the Daily Mail:
It was a poignant tribute to the people of Christchurch. After the city’s devastating February 2011 earthquake, which claimed the lives of 185 people, New Zealanders held a red and black day to show their support and solidarity with Christchurch.
We first saw the Luisa Spagnoli suit in February of 2011, worn when the Duke and Duchess visited their alma mater, Saint Andrews University. Following the Saint Andrews engagement Kate and William, joined by Prince Harry, went to the New Zealand High Commission on London to sign the earthquake book.
I don’t believe it is mere coincidence that we see Kate in the same ensemble today as that worn for signing the condolence book; she is too well-researched and meticulous an observer to casually bring the Luisa Spagnoli to New Zealand for this occasion.
When more closely examining photos from today one notices two things, the first being that what the Duchess wore today is longer than what she wore in 2011.
You can see the decorative top-stitching on what Kate wore above, and below you can see the same stitching on the dress.
That leads to the conclusion Kate’s dress was converted into a skirt. The tailoring is very well done, were it not for the added length it’s unlikely most would have noticed the alterations. Thanks to Ayvee, of Dianas Jewels renown, for sharing insight and photos on the WKW facebook wall, and also to @Royal Forum Moron for raising the issue on Twitter.
Kate wore her Episode Angel black suede pumps and carried her Mulberry Bayswater clutch.
The Duchess also had her Mappin and Webb necklace on, most of the time it remained beneath her jacket.
NEXT ENGAGEMENTS: Monday (Tuesday in New Zealand) is an off day. Following are the Wednesday (Tuesday night in the US) engagements:
- 10am / 6pm EDT / 3pm PDT – 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
- 11:15am / 7:15pm EDT / 4:15pm PDT – Return to Wellington, with a stop in the city centre to sign the official Visitor’s Book, with the possibility of a walkabout
- Noon / 8pm EDT / 5pm PDT – Depart Wellington for 3-hour flight to Sydney, Australia via Royal Australian Air Force
- 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.
- the New Zealand Herald’s live blog may be followed here, MSNUK is doing a live blog every day, and the Daily Mirror’s live blog can be seen here
- Watch this raw video of Kate during the walkabout
- TVNZ’s video story showing Kate & William touring the temporary Cathedral is here, the story about Kate & William playing cricket is here
- Rebecca English’s story in the Daily Mail is here, accompanied by many photo photos