Royal fever hits Waikato

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

Hun­dreds of fans lined the road to wel­come the Duchess of Cam­bridge to Rain­bow Place Chil­dren’s Hospice on Satur­day.

Hamil­ton-based Rain­bow Hospice is the chil­dren’s branch of Hospice Waikato and the duchess has strong ties with chil­dren’s hospices in the United King­dom. She will use the out­ing as a fact-find­ing mis­sion on pal­lia­tive care, which she will take back home.

Cather­ine met the 48 chil­dren and their fam­i­lies be­ing looked af­ter by Rain­bow Place, which deals with chil­dren who have life­lim­it­ing health con­di­tions and those who have ex­pe­ri­enced the sud­den loss of a loved one.

Among them was Mata­mata six- year- old Kaiya Miller. Kaiya suf­fers from cys­tic fi­bro­sis and di­a­betes and is fed al­most ex­clu­sively through a tube in her tummy.

On ar­rival at the hospice, Kate stepped out in a green Er­dem coat with a Suzan­nah dress un­der­neath. Af­ter a brief wave to the crowd she was taken to a pri­vate room for a brief­ing on the hospice.

Her visit in­cluded a chil­dren’s art ther­apy ses­sion and an ex­trav­a­gant Mad Hat­ter’s themed tea party hosted in a mar­quee which had been fit­ted out for the oc­ca­sion.

Cather­ine went on to join up again with Wil­liam, who had been on his own solo out­ing at the Pa­cific Aero­space, for their pub­lic drive in Cam­bridge and the open­ing of the new Na­tional Cy­cling Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence and Velo­drome.

The duke and duchess sent Cam­bridge into a flag wav­ing frenzy.

Their royal con­voy did a lap around the town, pass­ing an es­ti­mated 15,000 royal watch­ers, most of whom got a mere glimpse of a sil­ver limo pass­ing by and a royal wave.

The cou­ple re­ceived a rous­ing cheer when their car pulled up at the Town Hall and as they emerged from the car a Mex­i­can Wave of Union Jacks flut­ter­ing rip­pled along the se­cu­rity bar­ri­cades.

They had lunch in­side the Town Hall for about 20 min­utes, be­fore emerg­ing and walk­ing to the Ceno­taph com­mem­o­rat­ing the town’s World War I fallen.

Each laid a red rose, bow­ing their heads in re­spect, then met for­mer sol­dier Jack­son Blyth, whose World War I vet­eran fa­ther Curly came from the town.

Prince Wil­liam chat­ted hap­pily to Blyth and to sev- eral of those seated in the pen­sioner area

He asked Blyth about his mil­i­tary ser­vice and that of his fa­ther, who lived un­til he was 105 af­ter be­ing shot and gassed in the war.

Blyth said he asked the duchess if Prince Ge­orge would ever visit Cam­bridge, and his son handed her a chil­dren’s book about Le Ques­noy, a suc­cess­ful World War I mil­i­tary oper­a­tion his fa­ther fought in.

"She said [Ge­orge] was back in Welling­ton, but she would def­i­nitely read the book to him," he said.

Royal watch­ers stood be­neath the town’s beau­ti­ful trees, were five deep along the main shop­ping street and some waited for up to five hours for a glimpse of the cou­ple.

Shops that had done a roar­ing trade while fans waited, planned to close when the royal con­voy drew near.

The whole town was cov­ered in red, white and blue with even the sushi shop dis­play­ing Union Jacks.

Lady Perdita, a Pomera­nian dog, waited in the arms of Ge­or­gia Stan­wix, a for­mer Miss Eng­land con­tes­tant now liv­ing in Cam­bridge.

‘‘It’s a Pom,’’ her fa­ther, Jon Stan­wix laughed.

Two princesses: Mata­mata 6-year-old Kaiya Miller meets the Duchess of Cam­bridge.

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