The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have begun their journey home – but it seemed baby Prince George wasn’t too pleased about that.

It was as though Prince George didn’t want to leave Australia.

The baby prince let out a last-minute wail just before his parents, Prince William and his wife Catherine, were about to embark on their long journey home to London.

With a royal wave and beaming smiles, the young royal family said goodbye at Canberra airport on Friday afternoon.

The royal couple formally thanked the police guard surrounding their motorcade, before being farewelled by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and his wife Lynne, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher.

George frowned as he looked over his mother’s shoulder at what he was about to leave, and made his feelings known: he furrowed his eyebrows and let out a wail.

Spectators cheered and waved as the royal couple’s plane took off.

Nicolette Ellis brought her four children to see the young family off.

“I hope to see them back again. They’ve definitely brought some life back into the royals,” Ms Ellis told AAP.

Her father Ross Brown – who has seen his share of royal tours – gave this one his stamp of approval.

He said it was refreshing to see a younger royal couple Down Under, because they were much more open than previous counterparts.

“Will and Kate are so normal. They really got out amongst the people.”

The royal couple spent their final day in Australia commemorating Anzac Day in the national capital.

They made a surprise appearance at the dawn service, laid floral wreaths at Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier, and at the Australian War Memorial planted a seedling cultivated from seeds collected following the Battle of Lone Pine.

It capped off a successful 10-day national tour that took them to the Northern Territory, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra.

Theirs was a visit focused on meeting the young of their generation, who they may one day rule as monarchs: mixing beats with Adelaide DJs, playing with kids at Canberra’s National Arboretum, and meeting young guns like sailor Jessica Watson and sports star Ellyse Perry.

It was also about acknowledging the past: respecting the traditional owners of the land with a welcome to country in the NT, paying homage to Charles and Diana with a sunset stroll at Uluru, and becoming the first royal couple to attend Anzac Day services in Canberra in 50 years.

They came to meet a populace still tossing up the concept of a republic.

They saw parts of the country.

And they left, charming a nation.