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1PM UPDATE: The RNZAF VIP aircraft carrying the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived a few minutes after midday at Wellington Airport after being delayed by poor weather.
Low cloud, a southerly wind and drizzle forced the cancellation or delay of several commercial flights before the RNZAF jet touched down.
The Boeing 757 landed at 12.04pm, 19 minutes after schedule. The royal couple and baby Prince George were welcomed by Prime Minister John Key and Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown before being driven in a motorcade around the bays to Government House in Newtown.
Despite the weather, the official welcome at Government House went ahead.
The royal family will spend the remainder of the day and all of tomorrow resting after the 25-hour flight from London via Dubai and Sydney.
Prince William was a wearing a dark business suit and Duchess Catherine was in a red frock and matching long coat with red pill box that helped her cope with the squally weather as she descended on to the tarmac carrying nine-month-old Prince George, who was clothed in white.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are now flying over the Tasman on a Royal New Zealand Air Force’s VIP flight to start their nine-day tour.
They are expected to arrive at Wellington Airport just before midday in blustery, wet weather. They landed in Sydney at 6am local time (8am NZ time) aboard a Qantas flight from London via Dubai. Prince William, Duchess Kate and baby George were met by a fleet of waiting cars and then transferred to the private jet base, where they board the RNZAF Boeing 757.
Photographers were able to get pictures of baby Prince George, who was cradled in his mother’s arms, and carried up the stairs on to the jet.
It was only the second public occasion on which the tiny prince has been seen. Up to 10 staff, including personal assistants, a nanny and the Duchess’ hairdresser, are also on the VIP flight. The Royal family will then drive to Government House on Wellington’s harbourside route around Oriental Bay.
Their public engagements begin on Wednesday with a visit to Government House by young mothers, while Duke and Duchess will make their first visits around the country from Thursday with a day trip to Blenheim.