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Down Under Tour Day 5: Kate Rules the Waves in Auckland Harbour

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Today, (Friday, April 11 in NZ) William and Kate flew from Wellington to Auckland. Our trusty royal fan, Duchess Spotter, was on hand at the airport to snag some snaps of the duo as they boarded their flight. 





The flight from Wellington is about an hour, and before we knew it William and Kate were deplaning in Aukland. I begin to wonder that Kate might think she is a little French boy. She wears these Breton tops like they are her uniform. I like them. I am just giving her a hard time, I really like them. I love Kate in casual. She was wearing a double-breasted Zara blazer over a Breton top by Me + Em, Zara skinnies, and Stuart Weitzman Corkswoons.

They greeted military families in a hanger at the airport...



...and then moved to the Viaduct for a walkabout. William and Kate were several yards apart as they made their way down the line. At some point, it started raining and an aide gave a large umbrella to William. As the downpour intensified, Kate suddenly made a scramble and scurried under William's umbrella. These umbrella moments just won't stop. :) it's the silver lining of the never-ending rain.





I told this story before, (which many of you know) when William and Kate toured Canada in 2011, but the blog has gained a substantially larger crowd since then, so I am going to tell the story again. It was early 2007. Kate and William had been dating years, ever since they fell in love in college at St. Andrews, and she was naturally anxious for some kind of a sign of commitment from her prince--that he meant to pledge his faith to her forever. Tensions, unhappily, were mounting. As he approached his 25th birthday in June, William was not feeling the push to commit so much as a call of freedom. On a dusky morning in April, the story goes, William called Kate at Jigsaw where she was working. As Kate paced the parking lot, where she had retreated for privacy, William declared his decision to end their relationship. Kate was heartbroken, as she briefly alluded to in her engagement interview, but she kept a stiff upper lip and went about winning him back.



Encouraged by a friend, Kate joined a group of women training to race a Dragon Boat across the English Channel. I vividly remember that summer. I was devastated by the couples' split, hoping desperately that they would get back together, and looking for any news of Kate I could hoping she wasn't about to fade away into history. Hello! published beautiful spreads of Kate training in the early dawn hours on the Thames with the Sisterhood. Sometimes smiling, often looking serious and preoccupied; she made headline news. 



Thankfully for Kate and for us all, William came to his senses. The two reconciled and Kate withdrew from the race because the media attention was too great and as a royal girlfriend, she was always careful not to create a publicity circus. We were cheated of our dragon boat race. But, the story had a happy ending. As I reported in 2011, here, this story has a very satisfying completion when William and Kate raced a pair of dragon boats on their first royal tour in 2011 as newlyweds. The race in Canada ended with a loss for Kate, but a win for us thanks to that playful little push:


So. I am a big fan of royal boat races. It reminds me where I come from as royal watcher and a Kate fan and it reminds me how beautifully Providence works to bring about the happy endings we all want. William and Kate were meant to be together, they were made for each other. Despite the odds--starting in college and making it almost ten years later, despite the hiccups and break-ups, their relationship and their love has persevered and here we are, over ten years later, watching them, happy as ever, together with a precious little cutie waiting at home. Life is good. 


Today's race was not to have the same conclusion.  William and Kate enjoyed lunch on the yacht before the races, and Kate changed into her Sebago shoes that first got so much wear in Canada:



This list of tweets from reporters live on the scene detail the race. It began with Prince William in the lead and ended with a certain gorgeous brunette the victoress. That's not a word, I made it up for Kate. 








This next one was my favorite. "Kate remained serene." When has Kate not been serene? A model of womanly strength and cool aplomb, always.








Woot, woot, Kate. Well done! But, wait, what's this? A second race? I guess they had to get back somehow, so why not make it a competition. They were off and William was in the lead again. Are these races rigged? Why is he always in the lead??











And Kate won. She told him she was sorry when they hit dry land, but I have to say, she sure didn't look sorry...:) A girls gotta do what a girls gotta d: Win!


Let's change the word "Britannia" to "Kate" and sing, "Rule, Kate, Kate Rules the Waves."



I'll be back with more pictures and videos later! 

William and Kate got to experience SeaLegs, a boat that has wheels and can fairly seamlessly transition from water to land. Although, the company sells to the more recreational market as well, the military possibilities are pretty obvious, so I am sure that William enjoyed this.
Sealegs is privileged to provide the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge a unique amphibious experience on their visit to Auckland.
The Royal tour visits Auckland on Friday, 11 April 2014, and the Royal couple will depart the queen city aboard a Sealegs amphibious craft.
After sailing on the Waitemata Harbour, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will together board a Sealegs craft in the Viaduct for a unique ‘Sealegs experience’ en route to Whenuapai Air Base.
Sealegs amphibious craft are unique in their capacity to provide an amazing and joyful boating experience. Sealegs craft are high performance craft which are able make a seamless transition from land to sea and back.
On arrival at Hobsonville Marina after a 20 minute fast passage up the Waitemata Harbour, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will experience the Sealegs amphibious capability to move from sea to land in a remarkably easy and convenient manner.
"It is a great privilege for Sealegs to be invited and to participate in the Royal tour, and to host the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on our Sealegs craft during their fleeting visit to Auckland. We have no doubt that they will enjoy a unique boating experience and they will take away the memory of their first Sealegs amphibious boating experience."
Sealegs patented technology is now on over 850 Sealegs craft in over 40 countries all over the world. Indeed there are more than 100 Sealegs craft throughout the United Kingdom.
Georgie-pants received a mini-Sealegs as a gift, and William and Kate looked pretty pleased. I wonder if this is the kind of gift they keep? And if they do, how they are going to cart that thing home...

Speaking of George, the royals were soon back to their plane and off on their way to Wellington and  their chubby-cheeked little prince.



I will be back tomorrow with the usual wrap-up post and another day of this very exciting royal tour! Get some sleep tonight, everyone!!

26 comments:

  1. Go Kate Go!!!

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    1. Both times she was behind at first. The comeback kid. :)

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  2. Is there video of the race?

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    1. Not in entirety. I mean, I am sure some cameraman or news source as the raw video, but I haven't seen it anywhere public. I will be uploading two nice videos with some actions scenes. :) And doubtless, you have already found a few, too.

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  3. Yay! Go girl! I love kate in casual outfits and she does look fantastic in those skinnies, she has the figure and height for them. Thanks for the interesting story about the boat race I didnt know that, I was quite young then and have only started following kate since after thé wedding. So thnakt you for providing the significance of boat races to thier relationship.

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    1. Oh good! It is my favorite story about the Cambridges, so sometimes I worry that I preach to the choir because I tell it so often! Glad you enjoyed it!! :)

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  4. Kate really looked so much better when she was wasn't so skinny. I wish she would just put on a few more pounds. her outfit was boring.

    Jane you didnt post anything about the royal reception at government house.

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    1. Uh oh, I did! Let me go look for the link... I think posts are getting lost because they are coming so quickly. The toughest thing about these tours is keeping up, I think. For bloggers and readers. :) Here you go! The State Reception at Gov House: http://fromberkshiretobuckingham.blogspot.com/2014/04/down-under-tour-day-4-kate-wears_10.html

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  5. Never mind! I just saw the post about the royal receptoin. Dont know how I missed it and I was quite silly in thinking that you would ever miss a post about anything on this tour/ Sorry! x

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    1. Oops, ha, and I just saw your follow up comment. No worries at all. Tours are so busy!! Thanks for reading; hope you enjoyed that post!

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  6. Loving your coverage of the tour Jane, thanks for your hard work. I always think Kate looks most comfortable in casual clothes and doing this kind of engagement - guess she's an outdoors girl at heart x

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    1. I agree. It is a very natural environment for her, I think. She is comfortable and she enjoys herself and we get to see a lot of her playful personality. I love casual Kate! :) Thanks for your kind words, I am so happy you are following the tour with me!

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  7. Jane, I think this might be my favorite post you have ever written! You are so funny, and such a wonderful writer! I was really enjoying your humorous writing (and all the fantastic pictures) when you go and throw in that extremely romantic and touching story right in the middle - wow! This has absolutely made my Friday.

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  8. Jane, I think this is my favorite post you have ever written! You are such a funny and gifted writer. I was really enjoying your quips, and all the fantastic pictures, when you go and throw in that incredibly romantic and touching story about the history of their relationship. Wow! This post has made my Friday :) Thank you for keeping up such a beautiful and authentic blog!

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    1. Natalie: your comment made MY Friday. I woke up this morning and I was just dragging and thinking, one more day and you can sleep in a little. And then I saw your comment and it totally re-energized me and got me excited to keep trekking! I am so happy you enjoyed the little detour about that period in their relationship. Thanks for reading and thanks for commenting! :) xx, Jane

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  9. Loved to see this carefree side of them and just saw that the Emirates team were filming during it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2cXJxs28Ag I love to see them joking at the end it's great to see and actually hear it!

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    1. Thank you, Alex! I am trying to get the wrap-up post live and have included this great video! My Splash photos aren't downloaded correctly, but hopefully it will be up soon! That ending was so cute! As usual... :) Thanks for dropping in and reading!

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  10. "Ay me! for aught that I could ever read, Could ever hear by tale or history, The course of true love never did run smooth" I think about what kind of life William would have without Kate. She brings so much to his life, he is very lucky to have her. You are right Jane, they are made for each other. Now a comment on Kate's fashion: I hoped I never saw those shoes again, and here they are! I also thought her blazer did not fit her well. Kate's clothing always looks so tailored. I supposed that is what one gets when buying off the rack and from an inexpensive brand.

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    1. Oh, Shakespeare. :)
      Oh, no! Wait, which ones? The Sebago or the SW Corkswoons? I can see your point about the blazer, although the nautical look was very cute. I liked her look, but I think it is one of those times when she pulls it off because she is Kate, whereas I might not think so had someone else worn it. There is that very small margin of very strong bias in me...and us all, probably. ;)

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  11. I wish I could say she won the fashion race too, awful wedges with aweful jeans, as much as she likes shopping on her casual wear it cant be seen! A.

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    1. Uh oh, well, some people certainly don't like this look on her. I don't love it with the sky high wedges, but I have to say I love it with flats. Hopefully, you will like what she wears today!!

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  12. I love this navy-white combination!!! (I had to buy a similar outfit for myself ;-) ) Casual is my favourite, too. As you all just said, you can see she feels comfortable in them.

    I knew the story of 2007 but enjoyed reading it again in your words. It's interesting: Every important step in their relationship is marked with a boat race: separation and reunion, newlyweds and new-parents...

    Thank you Jane for combining the tweets of the boat race. Couldn't follow it "live" and this has been the perfect update for me!

    Kind regards
    Vicky

    P.S.: Jane, what's your time zone?

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    1. I love the park pictures and anytime she puts her Barbour on and walks Lupo, or with William. She makes it look so effortless, but still glamorous. :)
      That's my hope, that even though people have heard it many times it is fun to read it...again! You are right about the boat race correlation thing. I like it!
      Glad you are enjoying the format of tweet updates. That is the best way I can give everyone the best sense of how the day went had you been glued to your computer screen for hours!
      Looking forward to today's events!
      Very best,
      Jane
      I move round, but I am primarily based in the US. Although, I do have a penchant for Paris, and if home is where the heart is, well... :)

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    2. Love those park pictures for these reasons, too ;-)

      Moving round... interesting. Maybe you would like to post about you eventually (job, hobbies, how come that you blog about Kate). Would be interesting ;-) (I like it when you tell something about your experiences and feelings of Kate-topics in your posts. Well, that's the difference between blog and newspaper, right?!)
      Besides: Paris is my favourite city. Would like to go there more often...

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    3. Well, I am far less interesting than Kate. :) You should follow my personal blog! I just launched, so not so much up yet, but soon I will be posting more...after the tour! It is called Champagne & le Chameau and you can find it at www.jane-barr.com :) A lot of French stuff!

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    4. far less interesting.... well, depends on the point of view. Maybe less but not far ;-)
      Thanks for sharing the link again. I've once been on that page but forgot to save it :-/ And well, I suspect I won't have time to read it until the tour is done....

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