Prince William tours Pacific Aerospace in Hamilton

Prince William and Kate Middleton undertook separate engagements in the North Island region of Waikato on Saturday, the sixth day of their New Zealand tour.


Hamilton's mayor Julie Hardaker greeted William and Kate when they arrived at the airport before the Duke of Cambridge toured aircraft production company Pacific Aerospace and his wife attended a nearby children's hospice called Rainbow Place.

William and Kate arrive at Hamilton airport

Dressed in a smart navy suit, a light blue shirt and a maroon tie, William arrived at the airport to view the company's manufacturing plant and explore a static display of the XSTOL aircraft.

The second in line to the throne was accompanied by as he was shown around the company's headquarters.

One young girl in the party informed the Prince that she had been stung by a bee while waiting for him to arrive. "Oh poor you," repsponded William. "Did you put any cream on it?"

Given that the Duke served with the Royal Air Force for a number of years he was clearly thrilled to see where the utility, training and agricultural aircraft being produced.

Prince William gifted with fun caricature of him, Kate and George

William's visit to Pacific Aerospace falls almost six years to the day since he qualified to pursure a career in the RAF.

It was at the end of 2007 that William chose the RAF as the focus of his military training and undertook an intensive four-month training course at Cranwell. Upon completing the course, Prince Charles proudly presented his son with his RAF wings on 11 April 2008, marking the beginning of William's career with the air force.

In January 2009, William was promoted to Flight Lieutenant and trained to become a helicopter pilot with the RAF's Search and Rescue Force.


A year later he graduated from the Defence Helicopter Flying School at RAF Shawbury and was transferred to the Search and Rescue Training Unit at RAF Valley in Anglesey, where he remained for more than three and a half years when he chose to leave his post in September 2013.

Following his tour of Pacific Aerospace William reunited with Kate as the royal couple headed to Cambridge to pay their respects at the town's war memorial, before spending a sporty evening at the Avantidrome in Hamilton.
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