It was a successful outing for Prince George who undertook his first official engagement of his Australian visit at Taronga Zoo.
George was relatively well-behaved, if a bit nervous at first, but then quite friendly. And so was Prince George.
The two came face-to-face on Sunday at Taronga Zoo’s enclosure, where it was officially named the Prince George Bilby Exhibit as part of Australia’s gift following the prince’s birth on July 22 last year.
It had been anticipated that Prince George would make his only public appearance at the zoo, but it wasn’t confirmed until he was filmed being put into the car by his mum Kate.
Kate carried George – dressed in dark blue shorts, a striped lighter blue-coloured shirt, dark blue socks and shoes – as they entered the zoo.
He looked inquisitive, and was chuckling and looking at the cameras.
Kate had changed out the dove-grey Alexander McQueen outfit she wore to church, into a lemon cream broderie anglaise dress by a designer who did not want to be named. The dress had a fitted bodice and flared out to the knee.
After a quick photo op, the family headed into the enclosure where the meeting took place.
Prince William helped break the ice, when he enticed the bilby – renamed George – over with some food.
Kate held George close to the glass wall dividing the pair, and he started to show a keen interest in the endangered marsupial.
But despite being royal, he proved himself to be a normal baby – eagerly grabbing the stuffed bilby present before throwing it on the ground – and sticking a card straight in his mouth.
This was Prince George’s second official function.
During the New Zealand leg of the trip, he “hosted” a play group event with other babies his age at Government House.
After the very short engagement, George returned to Admiralty House, while the duke and duchess continued through the zoo, feeding tree kangaroos, walking past giraffes, enjoying a bird show, and taking in the rhino conservation display.
The Queen is the Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England, roles William will take on when he becomes king.
After the service the couple signed the First Fleet bible.
Royals arrive in Canberra
Forget joining the throngs waiting hours for a mere glimpse of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their little son George.
Just a select few were invited to greet the royal family on the tarmac on Sunday as they arrived at Canberra’s Fairbairn air base.
Governor-General Peter Cosgrove led the official delegation of politicians and officials, but the true VIPs were dressed in their Easter Best waving flags and bouquets.
Just 200 lucky folk had their names drawn from the hat this month out of thousands keen for a close encounter with the visiting royals.
Among the chosen were Stephanie Johnston and mother Lynda, both big fans of Kate – together they have watched all the other big moments for the royal couple on telly.
But it was a shock for Stephanie when her mum sprung the news that they’d both get an exclusive chance to actually see the duchess up close in person.
“My mum applied and I didn’t actually know she did,” Stephanie told AAP at the air base on Sunday.
“It’s very exciting.” Tara Cornelly was the envy of her office when she received the email at work telling her she was among the 200 to greet the royals at the tarmac.
“They were all very jealous,” she told AAP.
She was hoping for a glimpse of baby George, but suspected Kate might want to keep him out of the stiff Canberra cold.
Her daughter Tara had less interest in a fellow youngster.
“Kate!” eight-year-old Tara piped up, when asked who she most wanted to see.
The royal family will take a day off from their hectic schedule on Monday, enjoying some peace and quiet at Government House in Yarralumla.
The RAAF jet carrying the royal family touched down at Fairbairn at 5.35pm.
Kate, who had changed into a bright blue dress, carried a still wide awake Prince George down the stairs. George was in a top that matched the duchess’ dress.
Prince William, in a suit and tie, greeted the official party before taking hold of George while Kate accepted a posy of flowers from six-year-old Samantha Hendy.
William then strapped George into his car seat. The couple waved to the crowd, before getting into the car and driving off to Yarralumla.