Royal visit: Supporters enjoying festivities

The Duchess arrives at Rainbow Place. Photo / Twitter / Governor General
The Duchess arrives at Rainbow Place. Photo / Twitter / Governor General

Royal supporters in Cambridge are making the most of today's festive atmosphere.

With the Duke and Duchess expected soon, excitement in the town - with sausage sizzles, live radio and a big screen showing footage from the town's packed-out Victoria Square - is building.

Local business owner Sandra Webb said the atmosphere was fabulous.
View: The Royals in Waikato

Her gallery had won the window dressing competition with an imagined picnic table for royal watchers complete with pavlova an lamingtons.

"The focus is really on Cambridge today and I think it will last the weekend.''

Local artist Carole Hughes had painted a portrait of the Duke and Duchess and Prince George and had received authorisation from Kensington Palace to sell posters as memorabilia.

"There is so little memorabilia around for the tour it's great to have this,'' said Ms Webb.

Waipu District Council expected crowd numbers to swell to 100,000.

"I've spoken to people who arrived here at 3am, and plenty who arrived as early as 6am or 7am,'' a council spokeswoman said.

Natasha Baker drove from Palmerston North to see the Duke and a Duchess and said she was impressed with the festive atmosphere in Cambridge.

"I'm making a weekend of it. It's nice to be amongst the atmosphere.''

Hundreds have lined the town's streets to welcome the royal couple.

Union Jacks and messages of welcome are displayed in shop windows and houses on the route the royal couple will be taking.

Forecasters are suggesting blue skies to arrive at the same time as the royals.

Prince William and his wife are expected to spend 45 minutes driving and walking around Victoria Square in the centre of town from 12.45pm.

Earlier Catherine visited Rainbow Place, her first solo outing on the royal tiki tour. When Lee Thomson meets the Duchess of Cambridge today at Rainbow Place, her most pressing question will be if royalty also need to eat all the vegetables.

But the only vegetables visible today are candy carrots in flower pots to be eaten at an extravagantly laid out Mad Hatter-themed tea party at the Hamilton children's hospice.

This is Catherine's first solo outing on the royal tiki tour and it's a cause close to her heart.

The visit here today is not all about smiles and waves - she'll be here to learn.

Hamilton-based Rainbow Hospice is the children's branch of Hospice Waikato and Catherine 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.

Today, Catherine will meet with the 48 children and their families being looked after by Rainbow Place, which deals with children who have life-limiting health conditions and those who have experienced the sudden loss of a loved one.

She is expected to participate in a children's art therapy session and the outing will be topped off with an extravagant Mad Hatter's themed tea party hosted in a marquee which has been fitted out for the occasion.

Catherine will join William, who is on his own solo outing at the Pacific Aerospace, later in the day before setting off for a public drive in Cambridge and the opening of the new National Cycling Centre of Excellence and Velodrome.

- NZ Herald

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