And we're off! The royal tour has kicked off today as Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George landed in Sydney on Sunday evening (UK time) to make their connecting flight to Auckland, New Zealand, for the first stop of their tour. Expect to see the pun 'heir comes the royals' all over Monday morning's news.
TV cameras captured the family boarding their New Zealand Air Force military jet at Sydney airport, with K Midz carrying a wriggly nine-month-old George up the steps, while Wills carried Kate's handbag and a kangaroo for the young royal. You can watch a video of their arrival (and a very excited Prince George) Down Under over on 9 News.
It has been reported that Kate is expected to change 32 times during the 45 plus engagement trip. For her first look the royal re-wearer has opted for an old favourite, wearing a monochrome printed MaxMara Studio Line wrap dress which she wore back in February 2013, when five months pregnant, to visit Hope House, a residential facility for women who are recovering from addictions to drugs and alcohol.
So what else can we expect to see the Duchess wear over the next few weeks? We revealed that the Duchess has commisioned Ralph & Russo to create her a gown. ‘Kate visited Ralph & Russo’s boutique last month and said she was looking for inspiration for the tour,’ said a source. ‘She liked that they had Australian connections and has apparently given them specific instructions for a gown.’ The British brand – founded by engaged Australian couple Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo in 2007 – has a clientele of Middle Eastern princesses and A-listers such as Angelina Jolie and Beyonce? and, unlike Kate’s usual high-street haunts, their cocktail dresses start at £50,000. Yikes.
Kate in February 2013 [Getty]
Prince George was all smiles as he boarded the plane, and we can expect to see six glimpses of the prince on his first royal tour. He is expected to attend a photo call at Government House in Wellington and then visit Taronga Zoo in Sydney. But as expected with a young baby his appearances are likely to change as Miguel Head, the couple's private secretary, said: 'But George being just a little over eight-months-old by the time they travel, I’m sure you will appreciate that the couple will have to make a final decision on those moments much closer to the time.'
He added: ‘There is no hiding the enthusiasm for this visit by both The Duke and The Duchess. The Duke because he has been here before, and the Duchess because she has never been to either country but has wanted to do so as long as she can remember. The Duke has no doubt that his wife will fall in love with New Zealand and Australia every bit as much as he did.’