Prince George arrives in New Zealand for his first public engagement
Photographers battle dreadful weather to capture the historic moment
His sizable entourage includes a new nanny, dresser, and hairdresser
He can’t even walk yet but Prince George took a momentous step on Monday in what’s set to be a lifetime of royal duties.
When he arrived in Wellington, New Zealand, he was carried off the plane by his ever-glamorous mother and greeted by a long a line of dignitaries, including Prime Minister John Key. This was Prince George’s first official public engagement and he wasn’t in the slightest bit fazed by it, despite the epic journey from London. He was perfectly happy, a natural.
This is a family not just born into monarchy, but made for it. And if things carry on like this for the rest of their visit Down Under, the Republican movements in both New Zealand and Australia may have some catching up to do.
I was huddled on the runway in a nest of royal photographers who had traveled half way around the world to secure a picture that will be guaranteed a place in history. The weather was dreadful – windy, wet and cold. Brits are used to that of course, so it wasn’t a problem for anyone apart from the photographers who were struggling to prevent history being blurred by the condensation on their lenses.
In the background I spotted George’s new Nanny, Spanish-born Maria Teresa Turrion Borallo, in what was her first official appearance as well. It must have been a moment of reality for her about what she has taken on. The dresser was struggling to juggle hat boxes and dresses in the wind, and there was the hairdresser and eight other members of the royal entourage who are accompanying sizable support teams in each location on the trip.
The ground teams have been organizing logistics, not just for public events but also behind the scenes. A royal source told me they have been speaking to the local authorities about “all aspects of the tour, which you’ll imagine includes the requirements for Prince George and how to accommodate a baby on a royal tour.”
As an experienced baby-traveler, I would assume that means everything from cots to nappies to those all-important blackout curtains. There’s also the car seat of course, and that’s been a big talking point here. It was fitted by New Zealand’s national childcare advisory, Plunkett. The problem is, they fitted a forward-facing one when their guidelines tell parents to use rear-facing seats until the age of two. The fact it’s even a talking point illustrates the level of public interest there is in the trip.
This may be a lot of fuss about a baby, and he has no idea what’s going on. But when he does realize, Prince George will look back at these pictures and know that this is where it all officially began.