Time spent with families of CTV earthquake victims, a visit
to Christchurch's Botanical Gardens and a game of cricket
with young enthusiasts were some of the highlights of the
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's final day of official
activities on this royal tour.
More than 100 relatives of quake victims met the royal pair
this morning at the site of the former CTV building, on the
corner of Madras and Cashel Streets, as the crowd's mood
turned from one of rock-star enthusiasm to remembrance.
Relatives had attached bouquets to a wire fence bordering the
site, and many were holding framed photos of their loved
The Duke and Duchess spoke at length to the families. The
conversations were cordial, with smiles, rather than tears,
marking the occasion.
Ian Foldesi, 64, was killed by falling rocks on the Port
Mr Foldesi's family brought his labrador dog Tetley, who
found his body, to the site.
The dog, which had a Union Jack scarf tied around its neck,
had been lying on the grass but leapt up for his royal
The family of Jane-Marie Alberts, 44, at the occasion today
included her niece, Summer Oliver, who was injured in the PGC
The Duke and Duchess were scheduled to meet just four
families but the couple chose to cross the grass to meet many
more people, including CTV receptionist Mary-Anne Jackson who
fled the building just before it collapsed.
Police lined the street and were visible on nearby rooftops,
and crowds also gathered down the roads leading to Latimer
Many spectators were wrapped up warm in coats, scarves and
thick jumpers in the biting Christchurch cold.
Following their meeting with CTV families, the royal couple
split up at Latimer Square to meet the crowd, which was
eight-deep in places.
Kate was inundated with gifts for baby George, including toys
and a sheep pillow.
Tilly-Belle Robinson, 13, gave the Duchess a book she wrote
herself entitled 'George meets the Kiwi'.
"She said she would read it to George tonight," she said.
Around 200 people lined the Botanical Gardens' route, hoping
to catch a glimpse of William and Kate 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 today before ditching her group.
"I really needed the toilet, you see," she said.
"I just watched the ceremony at my hotel."
Then it was time for a spot of cricket in Latimer Square, and
former New Zealand stars Sir Richard Hadlee and Debbie
Hockley spoke to the couple before the royals took up a bat
Prince William bowled to his wife who adopted a classic
batting stance as the ball flew far to the left, drawing a
cry from the crowd.
William next three deliveries to Catherine were more on
target, two of which she hit with the plastic yellow bat.
Then it was Will's turn.
"Be nice," the Duke called to a young bowler as he headed to
"Good ball," he said after missing the first ball.
The second, he hit low and flat.
"I'm trying," he told the excited fielders.
The Duke then thrilled the crowd with two lofted shots, and
managed to escape without being caught.
The couple then formally greeted the 28 young cricketers,
from seven city schools, shaking their hands and no doubt
sharing some of his new cricketing knowledge.
Then it was off to the Air Force Museum at Wigram, where
around 500 Christchurch business people had gathered inside
for Future Focus: Christchurch's Redevelopment lunch.
They were sitting at 49 tables in the museum surrounded by
old war planes, including an Iroquois military helicopter,
and a Douglas C-47B Dakota which carried the Queen on
previous royal visits.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived to cheers from a
large crowd in red, white and blue.
The Prince gave a four-minute speech in which he paid tribute
to the city's resilience and looked forward to seeing the
city rise again.
He and his wife had "found ourselves moved at just how awful"
the February 22, 2011 earthquake was.
Since he last visited, just after the deadly quake, he has
been struck by the "resilience and adaptability" of the local
Despite the daunting job of rebuilding, Cantabrians have kept
their "classic Kiwi humour", he said.
He cited three reasons why Christchurch was not defeated by
the natural disaster.
Firstly, "this is your home", secondly, "you all care deeply
for Christchurch ... and it's clear you want to do your very
best for your city", and the third reason he gave why
Christchurch has a strong future, is because the people in
the room today had decided to devote their energy,
investment, time and skills in rebuilding.
"Christchurch is a city which has chosen not only to survive
but to thrive," William said.
"Catherine and I look forward to coming back to see how the
city takes shape."
He asked the gathering to join him and his wife in passing on
thoughts and prayers to those in the Solomon Islands who have
been struck by a similar harrowing experience in recent days.
After the presentation, they tucked in to lunch - a choice of
salmon or chicken.
After the lunch, the royals each laid a single red rose at
the Wall of Remembrance to pay respects to New Zealand's
William and Kate also 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 they got back into the
motorcade set for the airport and a flight back to
Wellington, and baby George.
Tonight they are dining on a "quintessentially Kiwi" feast
prepared by Ruth Pretty at a dinner with the Prime Minister,
his wife Bronagh and son Max.
The dinner has been described as 'private' and Mr Key has
kept details sparse until today - but says the taxpayer will
be footing the bill.
He said the menu for the dinner at Premier House would
"showcase New Zealand" and included Bluff oysters and white
bait entrees, followed by a main course of either rack of
lamb or snapper. Pudding will be pavlova and hokey pokey
Mr Key said he expected the Royal couple would be there for a
few hours. He did not expect Prince George to be there.
"There is obviously a welcome invitation for him but I'm
pretty sure it will be past his bedtime."
Max met William and Catherine when the Key family went to
stay with the Queen at Balmoral last year, while Bronagh had
accompanied Mr Key to the Royal wedding in 2011 and had also
been at Balmoral. Daughter Steffi had not returned for the
dinner - she is in France and Mr Key said she was "a bit busy
with exams at the moment."
Mr Key said the couple had wanted something relaxed in the
programme. He had originally intended to host the royals at
his Parnell home, but because they were based in Wellington
that had not suited their programme.
"They were certainly keen to catch up, they were certainly
keen to have something that was relaxed and in a fun
Mr Key said he did not know what the cost of the meal was.
Ruth Pretty was also one of the caterers for the barbecue for
Prince William during his visit in 2010, where he and Mr Key
manned the grills to cook the steak.
Prince William asked about New Zealand's flag when he talked
to John Key last week, the Prime Minister says.
Mr Key has proposed a referendum on changing the flag, and
had signalled he would discuss the issue with the Duke of
Cambridge during his visit to New Zealand.
But in the end, it was William himself who raised the issue
when the two met on Thursday.
"He asked about the flag, actually. He's probably aware of
the debate that's going on," Mr Key told TVNZ's Breakfast
"I went through all the logic of why we want to do what we're
wanting to do, told him it was a referendum, told him people
would have to choose."
Mr Key told William public opinion was 50-50 or more in
favour of the status quo, "but over time that might change".
The pair also discussed the economy and Christchurch, Mr Key