Prince George makes friends with a bilby as he undertakes his first official function in Australia, much to the delight of the travelling media.
Finally it was Prince George’s turn to be the star of the Royal Show Down Under.
Dressed in dark blue shorts, a striped blue-collared shirt, dark socks and shoes, and wriggling in his mum’s arms, he made his much anticipated Australian debut on day five of the Cambridges’ visit.
But he had to compete with a bilby, also named George, for the cutest in show.
The occasion was the naming of the bilby enclosure at Taronga Zoo’s Australian Nightlife Display in honour of the young prince, part of Australia’s gift after his birth in July last year.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge played second fiddle to their little man on Sunday as he undertook his first official engagement, albeit away from the loud and large crowds that have been flocking to see the royals.
Dad William worked his magic to get the two Georges to overcome their initial shyness, encouraging bilby George with some food while mum Kate held the prince close to the glass divider.
Before long, the curious prince was quite taken with the bilby.
Keeper of Australian Fauna Paul Davies took them on a guided tour of the indoor display, which included echidna, spinifex hopping mice and feather-tailed gliders well as bilbies.
“It was awesome. They were just like any other family,” Mr Davies said after.
“Prince George was so lively. So many kids of that age don’t like the dark – it is like moonlight in there – and run out screaming. Not Prince George.”
Afterwards, George helped unveil the plaque and accepted presents – the beginning of a long career of officiating at similar ceremonies for the near nine-month-old – before returning to Admiralty House.
It was his second public function of the three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand, where he “hosted” a play group event with other babies his age at Government House.
He has been kept on the sidelines for much of the visit – still too young for the full rigour of the tour.
His parents, however, have been undertaking a hectic schedule with visits to the Opera House, Blue Mountains, Royal Easter Show and Manly Beach in Sydney, and a whirlwind trip to Amberley RAAF base and Brisbane on Saturday.
It continued on Sunday with the duke and duchess continuing the visit to the zoo, feeding tree kangaroos, walking past giraffes, enjoying a bird show, and taking in the rhino conservation display.
Kate wore a pretty, deep lemon/cream broderie anglaise dress by an independent designer who didn’t want to be named, and sky high tan wedge sandals, and William was in blue jeans and a blue check shirt with his sleeves rolled up.
They posed with the echidnas with William commenting: “This is the moment everyone’s been waiting for.”
The royal couple started Easter Sunday at a church service at St Andrew’s Cathedral and will end the day by flying to Canberra, where they will be based for the rest of the tour that ends after Anzac Day services on Friday.
They’ll have a rest day on Monday. On Tuesday, they’ll be in Yulara and visit Uluru in the Northern Territory.
Another picture perfect moment on what has been a picture perfect trip so far.