The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with Prince George, are set to kick off the first leg of their tour of New Zealand and Australia with their arrival at Wellington airport tomorrow afternoon (UK time).
For the formal welcome, the Cambridges will travel to Government House in Wellington where they will be greeted by the Governor-General of New Zealand Sir Jerry Mateparae and his wife Lady Mateparae.
The welcome will include a Maori Powhiri (traditional Mairo welcoming ceremony) which will include speeches and dancing as well as the well-known hongi greeting which involves pressing one’s nose and forehead against the other person’s. A guard of honour will also be inspected on arrival and a 21-gun salute fired.
Arriving shortly before 12 noon New Zealand time and travelling by a Royal New Zealand Air Force plane, the Cambridges will have to endure a 24-hour flight before they arrive in the realm.
As well as the three royals, the flight entourage will also include Prince George’s new nanny, Maria Borrallo; the Duke and Duchess’s private secretaries; three press officers; a Tour Secretary; a Personal Assistant; the Duchess’s hairdresser and an orderly to help manage the logistics – as well as Sir David Manning, the couple’s advisor, who will also be with them throughout.
After the welcoming, the Cambridges will stay at a private residence for the following day – they will not be performing any engagements until Wednesday when William, Catherine (and hopefully Prince George) will attend an event for Plunket nurses and parents along with their young children at Government House.
The Cambridges tour of New Zealand will be the first time two future Sovereigns have visited the realm together since 1983.