Royal tour: Solemn tribute and a spot of light-hearted cricket - such is the lot of our royal visitors

Prince William was given a chance to bowl his maiden over yesterday, at a 2015 Cricket World Cup event in Christchurch.

The couple played a mini-match with children and cricket great Sir Richard Hadlee at the event in Latimer Square.

Prince William's first delivery to his wife flew far to the left, drawing a cry from the crowd. The next three deliveries were more on target, two of which Kate hit with the plastic yellow bat.

Then it was the Prince's turn to bat.

"Be nice," he called to a young bowler as he headed to the imaginary crease.

"Good ball," he said after missing the first ball.

The second, he hit low and flat.

"I'm trying," he told the excited fielders.

He then thrilled the crowd with two lofted shots, and managed to escape without being caught.

Hadlee said afterwards he was pleased to see the couple participate in the mini-match.

"She's a hockey player. There was a bit of a hockey grip there," he said of the Duchess' batting stance.

As for William, "It's not a very wide pitch, there was no warm-up, and he bowled with a jacket on. I was impressed," Hadlee said.

After the cricket, around 200 people lined the route to the Botanical Gardens, hoping to catch a glimpse of the royals as they opened the gardens' new $16.4 million visitor centre.

Beverley Rowe, from Clifton, travelled to London for the royal wedding in 2011.

She lined up for four hours yesterday before ditching her group.

"I really needed the toilet, you see," she said.

"I just watched the ceremony at my hotel."

The royals each laid a single red rose at the Wall of Remembrance to pay respects to New Zealand's fallen airmen, and then unveiled a new plaque, "in recognition of all those RNZAF personnel who have served in peacekeeping missions throughout the world since 1948".

They gave a final wave before setting out for the airport and a flight back to Wellington, and baby George.

APNZ, staff reporters

- APNZ

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