The heir to the British throne meets New Zealand children
during a playdate held at Government House in Wellington.
Photography by Woolf Crown Copyright.
Ten New Zealand babies are going to grow up with stories
of how they played, shared toys and held hands with the future
The Wellington coffee group was just like countless others
that happen every day, except this one was held at Government
House with two heirs to the throne joining in.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and baby George spent a
relaxing afternoon chatting with parents of the 8-month-old
tots, exchanging first-time parent stories.
Babies crawled in between legs and generally played nicely -
with just a few grizzles near the end of the playdate, little
Levi Birch's mum Tui Funaki said.
Toys from a Plunket toy library were piled high for the
children to enjoy, but of course, children always go for the
George's royal prerogative shone through when he took a shine
to a wooden doll in possession of young Eden Alve. He reached
for the doll, and snatched it from her, before throwing it to
He also stroked her head, causing the little girl to lose her
headband, then batted her a little harder.
George's mother Catherine smiled and retrieved the doll from
Eden's mother Ingrid said they were "playing with a toy
together at one point", but played down the potential
international incident and said they were sharing.
The littlest royal - dressed in blue Rachel Riley dungarees
and a white shirt with blue piping and a Peter Pan collar -
was carried by his mother as she mingled with other parents
in the room.
Kate was dressed in a knee-length black and white patterned
dress, with black high-heel shoes.
Her Tory Burch dress was chosen for its black and white
colour theme, New Zealand colours, a royal press secretary
Just metres away, Prince William - dressed in a blue shirt,
dark blue jeans, a brown and white patterned belt and brown
loafers - chatted easily with parents.
Ms Funaki, a solo mum from Wainuiomata was joined by her
mother Tina Birch. She said Levi held Prince George's hand
"for quite a bit".
"Baby Prince George was out there playing with the rest of
the babies - it was just awesome - he was just like any other
Ms Birch said he wasn't shy about grabbing toys from the
Prince William told her he was in charge of cooking his son's
"He said he mashes the potatoes and the veges."
At 3.30pm the 11 sets of parents sat in a circle on the thick
carpet, the babies getting stuck into their toys while the
At 4pm the royal family left the engagement, leaving the
parents to exchange impressions on the remarkable playdate.
Jenny and Mark Stevens, with their baby Paige said it was a
lovely afternoon and William and Kate were very relaxed,
"which made the whole room relaxed".
"It was just like any parent group with babies in the room,"
Mr Stevens said.
Prince George was "really adventurous, he was all over the
place and played with all the toys".
Grant Collinge and his wife Magda Gurbowicz, whose baby Lukas
played with George, said the royal couple were enjoying New
Zealand "except for the weather".
Porirua early childhood teacher Sheila Tagulima said George
was advanced for his age - the prince was hauling himself up
to standing against objects while her own son, TagiiLima, was
not yet ready to stand.
When Stephanie van Heuven's daughter Amelia spontaneously
burst into tears, she apologised, saying, "She's got a tooth
Kate said the same was happening to George and told her not
to worry, stroking Amelia to soothe her.
Meanwhile, fathers Jared Mullen and Ryan Tunstall, to
9-month-old Isabella, admitted to feeling nervous about the
"But, at the end of the day, it all comes back to, we're all
in the same situation, with kids around us, doing similar
Mr Tunstall said the whole day had been a privilege, "just to
share our babies with the duke and duchess and to have them
share their beautiful one with us".