Royal fever hits Waikato
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.