Prince William, Kate Middleton, baby George head to New Zealand
Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, were scheduled to land in Wellington, New Zealand, at 11:45 a.m. local time Monday, along with their 8-month-old son, Prince George.
William's private secretary said plans were unspecific as to which, if any, events the infant would apppear on the royal trip, which lasts through April 25 and includes stops in Australia also.
"George being just a little over eight months old by the time they travel, I'm sure you will appreciate that the couple will have to make a final decision on those moments much closer to the time," the secretary said in a statement.
One potential appearance, said CNN, may be at the opening of the Bilby Enclosure at the Taronga Zoo, in Sydney. The zoo said the Australian government had donated a bilby, a native marsupial, for Prince George to "adopt."
The royal visit, which has been in the planning for more than a year, will accommodate the baby prince through a hub system: Rather than traveling serially from place to place, William and Kate will return nearly every night to one of three hub cities: Wellington, and Sydney and Canberra, Australia. George's nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo, is accompanying the family.
While Prince William has visited Australia and New Zealand several times, this will be both George and the Duchess' first trip to those Commonwealth nations.
"There's no hiding the enthusiasm for the visit by both the Duke and the Duchess," Kensington Palace said in a statement. "The Duke, because he has been before; and the Duchess because she has never been to either country but has wanted to do so as long as she can remember. The Duke has no doubt that his wife will fall in love with New Zealand and Australia every bit as much as he did, some years ago."