Also on their tour, a Maori chief took the bold step to tell both of them to do what royal couples should do: procreate.
The frank directive was delivered during Monday’s formal welcome to New Zealand’s Christchurch by the indigenous people of the local area. Henare Rakiihia Tau, chief of the Ngai Tuahuriri, told the royal parents, “May you do what princes and princesses have always done and increase your family.”
The couple – who raced yachts this weekend and put to rest rumors of Kate’s being pregnant when she drank wine – brushed off the chief’s remark with good humor as Kate was showered with gifts from well-wishers in the crowd that had gathered at Latimer Square.
One young mother handed William a Buzzy Bee plush doll for Prince George. “That’s cool!” said William, who, as a baby himself, was given such a toy during his 1983 visit to the country with his parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
Other gifts included a handwritten letter, several posies, some New Zealand Girl Guide cookies, two hand-knitted toys from an elderly woman and, from 13-year-old Tilly-Belle Robinson, of Christchurch, a storybook the girl wrote herself, titled George Meets the Kiwi.
“She said she would read it to George tonight,” Tilly-Belle said about Kate. “She’s beautiful.”
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Kate Plays Cricket – in Heels
Also on Monday, Kate, in three-inch heels, went to bat at cricket.
Grimacing, she bravely faced her husband at an event to Christchurch to help publicize next year’s World Cup.
Dressed in a scarlet suit by Luisa Spagnoli, she watched as four balls whizzed past her – William’s bowling was wayward, to say the least! – while one narrowly missed her.
Kate gamely managed to strike one ball. William fared slightly better, hitting a couple of balls.
Paying Tribute to 2011 Quake Victims
The royal visit also marked something serious: the third anniversary of the devastating earthquake that hit Christchurch.
Visiting the city’s CTV Building Memorial Park, where 185 people lost their lives, William and Kate spent time talking with families, seeing photos of those lost, and offering comfort.
William placed an arm on 12-year-old Sam Neal, who lost his mother, Jane-Marie Alberts, 44, that tragic February day.
To the many others, William spoke about “supporting each other.” These included the family of Ian Foldesi, a 64-year-old, retired British businessman who was fatally crushed by rocks on the Port Hills walking track.
His wife, Marie Foldesi, and daughter, Sarah Foldesi, brought Foldesi’s black Labrador retriever, Tetley, who found his master’s body (and was decorated with a Union Jack scarf around his neck in honor of the visiting dignitaries), to greet William and Kate.
Tetley knew exactly what to do when he met the royals: He leaped up and wagged his tail – and got a pat on the head from Kate.
Later on, speaking at a Future Focus event to celebrate the regeneration efforts of local businesses and authorities after the quake, William praised “the resilience and adaptability of Christchurch.”
In a similar vein, he said at a lunch at the Air Force Museum, “Despite the daunting job ahead of you, life continues with classic Kiwi humor, creativity, innovation and determination. Christchurch remains a buzzing, thriving city.”
And, as the family heads to Australia for the next leg of their three-week trip, he mentioned the “many highlights from the past 10 days in this beautiful country” – and joked: “Catherine beating me at sailing does not count amongst them, not for me anyway.”