Prince William and Kate Middleton have carried their son, Prince George, off the plane at the start of a three-week visit to New Zealand and Australia.
It is the first official tour for the 8-month-old prince, who was awake in his mother’s arms as the trio were greeted at Wellington airport by New Zealand’s PM John Key and waiting media.
It was only the second time Prince George has faced the press.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were met with cold, wet and windy weather.
After greeting them on the tarmac, John Key tweeted: “The Royals have landed in Wellington. Let’s make them very welcome, New Zealand.”
Prince William and Kate Middleton were then taken to Government House, the official residence of the governor general, where they received a traditional Maori welcome.
They were greeted with a nose-press, called a hongi, and met Maori warriors.
A minor controversy marked the start of the trip – which ends in Canberra on April 25.
Plunket, New Zealand’s national childcare agency, published photos of a baby seat facing forwards in the royal car, with critics claiming this contradicted Plunket’s advice that children of Prince George’s age should face the rear window.
Kate Middleton’s fashion choices are expected to be closely scrutinized during the tour and she arrived in New Zealand wearing a red coat with gold buttons – from British designer Catherine Walker, who was a firm favorite of Diana, Princess of Wales.
The Duchess teamed her outfit with a red pillbox hat designed by Gina Foster and a silver fern-shaped brooch, a symbol of New Zealand.
She has been loaned the diamond and platinum piece by the Queen, who had herself received it as a gift during a visit to Auckland 60 years ago.
Prince George was seen to be wearing a cream cardigan and matching shoes.
He will be taken to a few specific engagements throughout the trip, and the program stops on most days in the late afternoon to allow his parents to get back to him.
Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince George flew on a scheduled Qantas flight from Heathrow Airport, via Dubai, to Sydney where they transferred to a military plane.
Their engagements in New Zealand will see them take in a yacht race and visit a Maori tribe, a rugby stadium and a vineyard.
In Australia, their destinations include Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Queensland, Adelaide and Canberra.
Helping oversee the care of Prince George will be his newly-appointed nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo, who stayed in the background as the royals received their official welcome to New Zealand.
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