Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Proof that the royal family always have the best time on tour in New Zealand

See some of our favourite photos

queen new zealand gallery
Ainhoa Barcelona
Ainhoa BarcelonaContent Managing Editor
Share this:

kate william sample red wine as the visit Otago© Photo: Getty Images

Visiting New Zealand has become somewhat of a rite of passage for members of the British royal family. Last October, the Duchess of Sussex, 37, made her first official visit to the country just five months after joining the Firm.

But those born into the royal family start at a much younger age. Prince William was just nine months old when he first took the long-haul flight with his parents Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1983. Fast forward 31 years and Prince George followed in his dad's footsteps, making the trip with Prince William and Kate in 2014.

Like many Kiwis around the world, the royal family celebrated New Zealand's national day on social media. Kensington Palace posted some lovely photos from William, Kate, Harry and Meghan's past royal tours and tweeted: "Today is the national day of New Zealand — Happy #WaitangiDay!"

The Queen's official account also shared a throwback photo from 1977 and captioned it: "Today is the national day of New Zealand, Happy #WaitangiDay! This image shows the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh wearing Maori Kahu-Kiwi (Kiwi feather cloaks) during a 1977 visit to New Zealand."

In honour of New Zealand's national day, take a look at the best photos of the royals on tour…

diana charles william pose new zealand© Photo: Getty Images

A baby Prince William is pictured with his parents Charles and Diana during the family's official visit to New Zealand in 1983. William was just nine months old at the time – adorable!

kate middleton prince george hair new zealand© Photo: Getty Images

Some 31 years later, Prince William returned with his eight-month-old son Prince George. His Royal Cuteness joined his parents at a few official engagements during his first long-haul tour abroad, but his playdate, organised by New Zealand parent support organisation Plunket, was a highlight.

George, who looked utterly adorable in his Rachel Riley smocked sailboat dungarees, played with other babies and toddlers. One guest described the future King as "quite a bruiser" after he made a little girl called Paige cry after grabbing her doll.

prince harry Prince Harry gives out cupcakes© Photo: Getty Images

Even without the cupcakes Prince Harry would have been a hit with fans! The Duke dished out the sweet treats during a visit to the University of Canterbury in Christchurch in 2015.

queen wears trousers new zealand© Photo: Getty Images

Her Majesty has rarely been pictured wearing trousers in public, but during the royal tour of New Zealand in 1970, the Queen slipped into more practical gear as she and Prince Philip visited Ship Cove. The royals were watching a re-enactment of Captain Cook's landing there.

princess diana given the traditional Maori greetin© Photo: Getty Images

When in Rome! Princess Diana took part in the traditional Maori greeting – a nose rub – as she arrived in Auckland in 1983.

kate middleton greeted with a hongi © Photo: Getty Images

Her daughters-in-law also followed suit during their visits to New Zealand. Here, the Duchess of Cambridge performed a hongi with adorable little girl, Mataawhio Matahaere Vieint, at Dunedin International Airport.

meghan markle greets Maori elders© Photo: Getty Images

Four years later, the Duchess of Sussex visited New Zealand with Prince Harry. Meghan greeted performers at Government House in Wellington with the traditional touching of nose and forehead.

prince harry best reaction baby© Photo: Getty Images

Dad-to-be Harry showed just how great he is with kids as he entertained a baby during a walkabout in Christchurch. Harry spent a week in New Zealand in May 2015.

prince charles with a tuatara© Photo: Getty Images

During a visit to the Orokonui Ecosanctuary in Dunedin city, Prince Charles and Camilla got up close and personal with some native lizards. Charles scooped up a Tuatara lizard and held it in his hands, but the royals burst into fits of laughter when a bumble bee headed straight for them. The future King managed to bat away the insect while still gripping onto the lizard.

meghan markle throws a Gumboot© Photo: Getty Images

Meghan showed she was game and happily took part in a 'welly-wanging' contest during her visit to Redvale in Auckland. The Duchess, who had just announced her pregnancy days before, was a great sport and tossed the pink polka-dot welly into the air.

princess diana visits the Bay of Islands© Photo: Getty Images

Princess Diana stood out from the crowd as she enjoyed a canoe ride at the Bay of Islands in 1983. The People's Princess lit up her surroundings in a yellow suit with a matching hat by John Boyd.

kate middleton sport new zealand© Photo: Getty Images

Sporty Kate showed off her skills as she had a go at batting at Latimer Square in Christchurch. The Duchess was attending an event to mark the upcoming 2015 Cricket World Cup in April 2014.

kate has photo taken on an iphone by Sir Peter Jackson© Photo: Getty Images

Lord of the Rings director Sir Peter Jackson couldn't resist documenting the royals' visit to Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre in Blenheim in 2014. Kate, who looked picture perfect in a cornflower blue Alexander McQueen coat dress, smiled at the director as she toured the outdoor aircraft display with husband William.

More Royalty

See more