William and Kate hopped on a plane earlier today with Prince George to take a three week tour of New Zealand, in the Royal baby’s debut of the former British territory. Ahead of the trip, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sent a list of essentials that Prince George will need to make him comfortable during his stay.
A royal aide stated that Kensington Place has been communicating with New Zealand officials in preparation for the tour, but this is the first time they’ve had to make preparations for a baby.
Prince George’s debut in New Zealand is much anticipated by the population and the usual cynicism that British royals have been met with by Kiwis and Aussies is now replaced with sentiments like, “look how cute he is,” and “is he teething?’
The royal family will be staying at Government House, the official residence of the Queen’s representative in New Zealand, Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae in Wellington. In anticipation for the visit, a nursery has been prepared for Prince George, along with bedrooms for William and Kate, and Prince George’s nanny,Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo.
New Zealand officials have declined to state the cost of the preparations for Prince George, but when the Prince and Princess of Whales visited New Zealand with Prince William in 1983, the renovations were costly to accommodate the royal family of three.
The Duke and Duchess along with Prince George will be received by guard of honor and a traditional Maori nose-rubbing welcome. On Tuesday the family will be resting before Prince George’s debut at a parent/baby get together at Government House.
Kensington palace hasn’t released an itinerary of when Aussies and Kiwis can expect to see Prince George for fear that the crowds would be disappointed if the baby prince becomes ill and isn’t able to join his parents at any of the engagements.
The trip, however, has garnered a lot of media coverage in both countries and the population is excited to see the royals as a “normal, happy family.” According to recent polls, distaste for the monarchy is at a 20-year low as the young royal couple becomes more and more popular.
However, of the over two-dozen engagements that the royal couple will attend, only one or two will include Prince George, as he has been rarely seen since he was born in London in July 2013. The schedule of the events have been tailored so that the royal couple is able to spend as much time with their son as possible, and will only be away from each other for a total of three nights during the entire tour. However, people are hoping that the tour resembles that of Prince William and his parents in 1983 when he was 9-months-old and his parents let him crawl around the Government House’s lawn.
But the trip seems to be all about Prince George’s debut in New Zealand. According to American blogger, Christine O’Brien who is the editor of Kate Watching, everyone is going to be enamored with the baby prince, saying, “They’re going to fall in love with him. How could they not with those cheeks!”
By Nathaniel Pownell