Prince George in New Zealand on first tour abroad – pictures
Lifetime of royal duty begins for Prince George on rain-soaked tarmac of Wellington Airport
PRINCE GEORGE began his first royal overseas tour today, touching down in New Zealand with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The eight-month-old was welcomed by the country's prime minister, John Key, at the start of a three-week tour of Australasia. It was the future king's first official public appearance since his christening in October.
"A lifetime of royal duty for Prince George began on the rain-soaked tarmac of Wellington Airport," says the Daily Telegraph, adding that the Prince looked "contented and fresh, if a little chilly with his bare legs".
The royal party is believed to have been given the entire 14-berth first class cabin on board their Qantas Airbus A380 from Heathrow via Dubai, paid for by the New Zealand government. They then switched to a Royal New Zealand Air Force plane at Sydney to take them to Wellington.
Prince William and Kate Middleton were taken for a ceremonial Maori welcome at Government House, the home of New Zealand's Governor-General.
As part of the traditional Powhiri welcome ceremony, a Maori warrior approached Prince William carrying a fighting staff, before placing a dart at his feet. The Duke was then told to keep his eyes on the warrior and pick up the dart as a sign that he had come in peace.
Other parts of the welcome ceremony included a nose-rubbing greeting (Prince William is pictured below with a Maori elder), a Maori haka and an inspection of the guard.