Prince George may have some competition for cutest photo op on the royal tour. On Wednesday, April 16, Kate Middleton and Prince William visited the Royal New Zealand Police College in Wellington, where they bonded with some adorable police puppies from the Dog Training Centre.
The visit to the College — which was originally opened by Prince William’s father, Charles, Prince of Wales — started on a somber note, as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge acknowledged the New Zealand police officers who had been killed in the line of duty over the past 127 years. This involved, among other things, a traditional Maori greeting and prayer, as well as music from the Police Kapa Haka group.
Later in the morning, the royal couple watched some recruit training, which included a dog-handling demonstration. They were then introduced to a couple of 12-day-old police puppies.
The Duchess, 32 — who wore a chic skirt suit from New Zealand-based designer Rebecca Taylor — was immediately smitten with the tiny German shepherds. She asked police commissioner Mike Bush what they ate and whether they could see, and affectionately stroked their fur as she talked.
“It wants to hide under my jacket,” she said as she picked up one of the puppies. Then, referring to her 8-month-old son, she quipped, “I think it can smell George.”
After holding the puppies, the royal couple met three foster families and the police dogs they’re helping to train. One of the families — parents John and Sarah Bole, daughters Morgan, 14, Madison, 10, Monet, 8, and dog Gessy, 4 months — gave the Duchess a stuffed toy dog for baby George.
“Aw, that’s so sweet. He’ll love it,” Middleton said gratefully. “Does it have a name? Maybe we should call it Gessy.” She added that she was sorry George couldn’t come. “He was asleep,” she explained. “He’s a very podgy baby.”
The first-time parents were also given a police onesie for the future King of England. “Fantastic. Brilliant,” Prince William raved of the little garment, which had “Junior Recruit” printed on it. “He’ll love that. Thank you. Will it fit him? He’s grown!”
Following the engagement in Wellington, the couple headed to Wellington Airport for their flight to Sydney with Prince George. The rest of their tour will take place in Australia.
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