On April 6th 2014, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge left the UK on on a scheduled Qantas flight for Australia, to kickstart the first part of the Royal Tour. According to the Daily Mail, William and Kate booked out the entire First Class cabin.
The family made a quick stop in Sydney Airport for a private transfer flight to New Zealand. Local news crews spotted the pair at the airport. Kate held on to baby George:
Kate wore an item we’re familiar with: her MaxMara blue-grey cross hatch print dress. We last saw her wear this dress in February last year for her visit at Hope House. Here’s a reminder of Kate wearing the dress at that event, and a clearer look at the dress:
The Duchess has ditched her L.K. Bennett pumps for a new pair of nude shoes, a suede pair with a lower heel than we see her wear usually. With thanks to Copy-Kate on eBay, we know they’re the “Muse” style by Stuart Weitzman. Below, we show the shoe in patent leather. Kate wore them in tan nubuck suede.
Eagle eyed fans noted that William was carrying Kate’s Longchamp Le Pliage tote to the plane, Susan from What Kate Wore says the bag looked like the shorter-handled style. We know that Kate owns several different styles of the bag.
Bloomingdales stock the bag in a variety of colours, shapes, sizes and fabrics. Here’s a reminder of Kate wearing the bag through the 2012 Olympics here in the UK:
At approximately 12:00 noon local time, the trio landed in Wellington, New Zealand. The Governor-General noted on Twitter that the Cambridges had a ‘windy Wellington welcome’.
The designer is a favourite in royal circles; Diana, Princess of Wales wore clothing from the label many times too. From the photo above, it looks like Kate is wearing a matching dress underneath.
Kate finished her outfit off with a new red pillbox hat by Gina Foster, specifically, the ‘Seaford’ style:
She also wore her Kiki McDonough Grace earrings. For those who aren’t familiar with the Grace earrings, here’s a look from a previous event in 2011:
Kate accessorised her red outfit with her coordinating brown suede pumps and clutch bag from Emmy Shoes.
Finally, Kate finished off her outfit by wearing a fern-shaped diamond and platinum brooch, a piece borrowed from the Queen. The fern is New Zealand’s national symbol. The brooch was given to the Queen during a Commonwealth tour in 1953-1954 and was presented on behalf of the Women of Aukland. From the Royal Collection website:
Here’s a video of the royal trio stepping off the plane:
After landing in Wellington, William, Kate and George accompanied officials to Government House for a ceremonial welcoming party.
The traditional Powhiri welcome ceremony saw a Maori warrior approaching Prince William while carrying a taiaha fighting staff and placing a rakau tapu dart at his feet. As part of the tradition, William had to pick up the dart as a sign that he has come in peace.
Both William and Kate partook in the traditional Maori ‘hongi’ greeting, which involves rubbing noses with an elder.
Of course, no welcome ceremony in New Zealand would be complete without a Maori haka and an inspection of the guard.