Who could forget this iconic image from the 1986 New Zealand tour by the British Royal family?
It seems like not that long ago when all the eyes of the world were on a bouncing royal baby – Prince William. Now it will be Prince William’s son, Prince George, who we will all be vying for a glimpse of.
According to reports from UK media, the 8-month old will make six appearances in the three-week long tour of New Zealand and Australia. Undertaken on behalf of the Queen, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s antipodean tour with their young son has more than a year in the making. Royal aides have confirmed that much of the tour has been designed with baby George in mind.
A nanny has been hired to assist in taking care of Prince George 24 hours a day and the doting new parents, William and Catherine, will base their young son in three different ‘hubs’: Wellington, Sydney and Canberra, across the length of the tour. This will ensure that Prince George will see and spend time with his mum and dad every night, with only two exceptions – a stop-over in Queenstown and another at Ayers Rock.
“It’s a long way to go and a long time away from their son,” the couple’s private secretary, Miguel Head, told reporters.
‘The tour has been designed with Prince George’s consideration and comfort in mind,” Head added.
‘Taking a nine month old on a Royal tour is not a first, but it has not happened in this Royal Family’s context for many, many years so there has been much to think about – as any new parent travelling long distance will recognise. The Duke and Duchess are content enough to know that he will be with them in the two countries.”
In the past, royal British heirs have tended not to travel with their parents for security reasons. Take Queen Elizabeth; she had to leave her two children at the time, Prince Charles and Princess Anne – aged five and three – for six months when she embarked on a marathon Commonwealth tour in 1953, shortly after her Coronation.
The monarch has reportedly given her permission for the baby George, the third in line to the throne, to join his father and mother on their British Airways flights to and from the Southern Hemisphere.
The Cambridges are notorious for trying to break with formal traditions of royal life and this trip will be no different. Unlike Prince William’s visit with his parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, in 1983, this tour will be much more casual and informal.
Take a look at the Royal family itinerary for New Zealand:
Monday, April 7: Wellington. Public drive to Government House via Oriental Bay.
Thursday, April 10: Blenheim/Wellington, Lay wreath at War Memorial, Seymour Square, and public walk; WWI event and flying day at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre.
Friday, April 11: Auckland. Public walk/drive along Halsey St to the Viaduct Harbour.
Saturday, April 12: Waikato. Public drive/walk in Cambridge.
Sunday, April 13: Dunedin/Queenstown. Ngai Tahu welcome at airport; service at Catherdral Church of St Paul, The Octagon, then public drive to Forsyth Barr Stadium; Queenstown Airport.
Monday, April 14: Christchurch. Ngai Tahu welcome, Christchurch City Council building; various events around Latimer Square.
Wednesday, April 16: Wellington. Walk through Civic Square