Prince William got a laugh or two with his speech and
gave a few insights into his young son's sleeping habits at a
state reception at Government House in Wellington this
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were guests of
Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae and his wife Lady Janine
at the reception for 200 where some of New Zealand's finest
foods were showcased and the Prince unveiled a new portrait
of his grandmother, the Queen.
Prince William's speech began with a Maori greeting, and he
got a loud "kia ora" in response.
"No insults yet," he quipped to laughter from the audience.
He thanked the Governor-General for having him and the
Duchess to stay.
"I hope George doesn't keep you up. He can be very vocal at
3am. I swear I heard him doing the haka this morning. He's a
bonny lad and I'm fairly sure he will be a prop forward," he
Prince William said he was certain Catherine would leave with
the same affection for New Zealand as he had.
He said it was an innovative country.
"New Zealand repeatedly demonstrates its progressiveness."
He said being the first country to give women the vote was an
early sign of that.
He said that was combined with a beautiful landscape, and
some "very nice wine as well."
Kate again stunned with her wardrobe, wearing a Jenny Packham
bespoke dress, black with fern hand-stitched beading on the
shoulders to reflect the NZ theme.
She stood alongside her husband as he unveiled the portrait
of the Queen.
The painting, by New Zealand artist Nick Cuthell, was
commissioned for the New Zealand Portrait Gallery.
The Queen is depicted in a simple blue day dress and wearing
the silver fern brooch she has loaned to the Duchess of
Cambridge for her New Zealand tour.
Prince William said New Zealanders' "fondness for my
grandmother the Queen" was what struck struck him most,
before before unveiling the portrait.
The portrait will be hung as part of the permanent collection
in the gallery's home in Shed 11 on Queen's Wharf in
Before the reception began, the couple went down a line,
greeting the guests who included Prime Minister John Key,
Labour leader David Cunliffe, Speaker David Carter and Maori
Party leader Te Ururoa Flavell.
Sir Jerry greeted the royals, saying it was special to have
them in the country.
"We are absolutely delighted - all of us - to have you here.
However, the greatest prestige goes to Prince George."
The Duke and Duchess moved through the crowd, where the
guests had been arranged into small groups for their
allocated time with the royals.
Prince William spoke to Green MPs Kennedy Graham, Gareth
Hughes and Steffan Browning, although party co-leaders Russel
Norman and Metiria Turei were not at the reception.
New Zealand's finest produce was the order of the day at the
The royals and esteemed guest - mainly MPs, judges, diplomats
and military personnel - dined on canapes which included
locally made Zany Zeus feta, potted Lake Taupo trout, braised
Cardrona and Merino lamb tarts and Waikanae crab toasts.
Earlier, Prince William held meetings with both Mr Key and Mr
Cunliffe, although what they spoke about on a formal level
was off limits.
Prince William told Mr Key he expected his race against
Catherine on the America's Cup boats in Auckland tomorrow to
be "a bit of healthy competition."
The Prince greeted the Prime Minister warmly after Mr Key
said it was good to have him back in New Zealand.
"It's good to be back. Thank you for having me," the Duke of
Cambridge told him
Mr Key said the weather was expected to be a bit better in
Auckland and in Queenstown next week.
Prince William said it would be "just my luck" if the
Americas Cup race had to be abandoned because of the weather.
He said he had been telling everyone he would win it, and
laughed when Mr Key asked if it was a bit of competition.
"A bit of healthy competition, yes."
He also indicated he was looking forward to the wine-tasting
the royals will have in Queenstown: "We drove through the
vineyards [ in Marlborough] today and I was getting quite
Prince William asked Mr Cunliffe how he had enjoyed the visit
to Blenheim today before saying going there had been
"poignant for me" as an RAF pilot.
He had enjoyed the visit to the Omaka Aviation Heritage
"The whole museum is incredible. It's so important to keep
the linkage of the generations."
Mr Cunliffe gave him a silver and black plaque with koru fern
fronds on it and explained the meaning of the symbol, saying
it meant renewal and nurturing.
The Prince said it was "super" and he liked the colour
Mr Cunliffe said it resembled the skies since he had arrived,
prompting a smile from the Prince.
"We haven't had done so well with the weather," he said.