The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had an eventful day yesterday, beginning with a Palm Sunday Church service in Dunedin, on New Zealand’s South Island.
The couple shared a Royal New Zealand Air Force plane with the numerous royal correspondents and press who were there to cover their day. At Dunedin’s airport, there was a Women’s Hongi line, where The Duke and Duchess gave the traditional greeting of rubbing noses. The short service began at 10am at St Paul’s Cathedral.
After greeting the crowds that lined the streets in outside St Paul’s, William and Catherine went to coach youth Rippa Rugby teams. Rippa Rugby is the NZ equivalent of tag rugby, a non-contact version of the sport, making it suitable for children.
Kate changed out of her turquoise Emilia Wickstead dress (a New Zealand designer), her matching bespoke Jane Taylor fern hat and Valerie heels for her next engagement of the day; once again Kate gave a nod to her hosts with The Queen’s silver fern brooch.
The dress was a copy of a baby pink one worn in 2012 to a Garden Party. This was swapped for jeans, a white jumper (to match her teams colours) and trainers to coach her team, and Will had also swapped his suit for more comfortable chinos, with a jumper and shirt combination. At Forsyth Barr Stadium, they were greeted by a haka from Otago’s First XV team.
Aided by New Zealand nationals, including the All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, the Royal couple’s competitive streak was once again unleashed. It was William’s Clutha team who beat Kate’s Pirates, scoring 30-20, and making the father-of-one very happy. Having been beaten by experienced sailor Kate twice in yacht racing, Will seemed to have made up for it in coaching rugby!
The next visit for The Duke and Duchess was to Amisfield Winery, a vineyard in Queenstown, and the Royals changed again; Kate reused her navy Zara blazer, teamed with a blue and white check shirt and her Stewart Weizmann navy wedges, while William took off his jumper and added a jacket.
William is apparently a keen wine drinker, and knows about the different varieties which go well with certain foods, however Kate doesn’t often drink, but admitted to the vineyard owners that since George has been born, she has been enjoying a few glasses, having abstained from drinking during her pregnancy.
Around 20 local producers gave samples to William and Catherine to try. Central Otago Pinot Noir Ltd chairwoman, Lucie Lawrence, said that Kate ‘really enjoyed drinking the Pinot Noir’, having tried 6 or 7 different wines, but The Duchess is known to prefer white wines.
The Duke offered his services to the vineyard as a helicopter pilot for an unusual task- the company uses a hovering helicopter to stir up cold air, and prevent frost settling on the vines, The Telegraph reports. John Darby, owner of Amisfield, said that The Duchess ‘seemed keen’ on the suggestion to get a 2013 vintage magnum, to keep for his 21st birthday, thinking it was a ‘nice idea’; the vineyard owner also noted 2013 was an excellent year for wines.
To round off the day, William and Kate enjoyed a private lunch, followed by a high-speed jet boat ride, called a ‘Shotover’, so-called because of its high speeds.
The boat ride lasted 25 minutes and was part of the couple’s limited private time during their tour, though the press naturally followed, as did the local crowds.
The boat has a V8 power engine, and reaches speeds of up to 52 mph. The Duke and Duchess were seen laughing with delight, being sprayed with water as the boat took a 360 degree turn. This was an adrenaline-seekers dream, travelling close to the rocky shore, and through narrow stretches of water. They then met with local school children.
After their busy day, the couple stayed in Queenstown for the night, at Matakauri Lodge. This is the first of just two nights the young parents will spend away from young Prince George.
Photo Credit: Government House, New Zealand