Armed with a pair of binoculars, one of Britain's most seasoned royal reporters deftly cut through an international media throng to secure her place on the tarmac's edge and another was overheard lamenting the lack of tea.
Behind the throng of camera operators and reporters, an Aviation Security barrier lay knocked out of the way.
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Moments before the Royal New Zealand Air Force aircraft emerged from a dreary, grey sky, carrying the heir to the British throne, the same crowd had been passively chatting and joking.
Previously penned inside the hangar doorway, the group had endured Wellington's heavy fog for hours.
Through cold and persistent drizzle, the story of a royal waiting game was being recounted in Kiwi, British, Australian and American accents to newsrooms across the world.
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A 19-minute flight delay wreaked havoc with news schedules, and live crosses were inevitably photo bombed by five dozen people unwilling to sacrifice their spot in the background.
Every plane landing at Wellington Airport caused the same five dozen heads to turn, but when jet engines roared nearby and the large aircraft taxied into view - the pack spilled as one surging wave on to their designated section of tarmac.
As the engines wound down the air was instead filled with the sound of snapping cameras.
Stairs were wheeled over and a welcoming party of New Zealand dignitaries took their positions: the door opened a fraction.
Video: Royal-watchers brave rain
Crowds, who had stood for hours in the rain pressed against a wire fence, erupted into cheers as the family descended the stairs.
Wearing a scarlet coat and hat, Catherine drew a striking contrast against the glum Wellington day and her polished husband waved to those below.
For a brief second, the wind lifted the Duchess' hemline, making it dance daringly high above her knee.
George, clothed in white, hung casually on his mother's arm, appearing unfazed by the biting wind and light rain as his parents laughed and greeted those at the bottom of the stairs.
The pack had got what they came for.