Live Blog: Royals arrive at South Bank

UPDATE 2.46pm: AS THE sound of helicopters got near and the police motorbikes with flashing red and blue lights drove past, the South Bank crowd started screaming with excitement.

Soon after, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge pulled up in a white Holden with the number plate "1" next to the Australian emblem.

Will exited the street side while Kate had to walk around from the other side of the car in her stunning LK Bennett lasa poppy print dress which retails for £245.

They shook hands with Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and Queensland Governor Penelope Wensley who were waiting to greet them outside Brisbane Convention Centre.

The Premier's wife Lisa did a curtsey as she shook Kate's hand.

As they walked up the stairs to enter the building, Will placed his hand on the small of Kate's back to guide her through.

They are now meeting with more than 200 Queenslanders for a special reception.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge walk out of the Brisbane Convention Centre after meeting a group of Queenslanders.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge walk out of the Brisbane Convention Centre after meeting a group of Queenslanders. Rae Wilson


12.55pm AN excited crowd - with signs and floral bouquets - is already building at South Bank more than three hours before they get a glimpse of the royals.


People have umbrellas to shield from the glaring sun while they wait, others have flags ready for Will and Kate's short walk down Grey and Russell streets.

Luke Richardson, from Brisbane, said he spent a lot of time creating a "Baby George is so cute" sign.

"First mummy drew the letters with lead pencil and then I coloured over with black pen," he said.

The crowd waits eagerly for the arrival of the royal guests outside ABC's Brisbane bureau.
The crowd waits eagerly for the arrival of the royal guests outside ABC's Brisbane bureau. Rae Wilson


John and Beryl Smith, from Bellbowrie, arrived at 9.20am to snap up a good position for the 3pm walk.

"We saw the queen about a year ago and that was very nice but this pair really click with the public and I think everyone is really wanting to see them," Mr Smith said.

"They've been the greatest thing for PR for the royal family - they've certainly done a good job there."

Mrs Smith said she had seen the Queen twice, in Queen St as a 13-year-old and in recent years on what was expected to be the Queen's last trip.

"We're really looking forward to it," she said.

"Everyone loves the Queen and Kate and Will are the most beautiful couple."

John and Beryl Smith at South Bank waiting for the royals to arrive.
John and Beryl Smith at South Bank waiting for the royals to arrive. Rae Wilson


11.43am TO THE sounds of band music and fighter jets flying overhead, the Duke and duchess of Cambridge have arrived in Queensland.

Their flight from Sydney landed on time at 11.05am.

The couple received a royal welcome as the red carpet was rolled out to greet prince William and Catherine.

The duchess arrived wearing a white dress with a blue flower motif by L K Bennett and navy suede heels.

It is the first time the prince and his wife have visited Queensland since their marriage. 


EARLIER: REGIONAL Queenslanders suffering through the drought will be among more than 200 people with a chance to talk to William and Kate in Brisbane today.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will touch down in Queensland at 11.05am at the Amberley RAAF Base.

Their ceremonial arrival will include God Save the Queen and Advance Australia Fair and a royal guard of honour.

The royal visit to RAAF Base Amberley, including No 1 Squadron, is a continuation of a long relationship.

The RAAF's No 1 Squadron was embedded in the Royal Flying Corps - later the RAF - during World War I.

The Air Force Band wait on the tarmac at RAAF Amberley.
The Air Force Band wait on the tarmac at RAAF Amberley. Claudia Baxter


In 1927, His Royal Highness Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI) visited Australia, which marked the first royal family visit to a RAAF Squadron.

The most recent royal visit to the Amberley base was in March, 2011, when the Duke of Cambridge toured some of Queensland's worst-hit areas of flooding during his three-day visit.


RAAF Base Amberley is home to 5000 personnel, including F/A-18F Super Hornets, strategic airlift with the C-17A Globemaster, air-to-air refuelling capability with the KC-30A Multi Role Tanker  Transport aircraft.

After visiting the squadron, William and Kate will head to the Australian Super Hornet Simulator Facility to participate in an F-18 simulated flight.

RAAF simulators are devices designed to re-create, as closely as possible, the actual conditions that personnel will experience in reality when carrying out their role.

Simulators play an important role in training today's Air Force pilots, navigators and air traffic controllers.

The RAAF has a simulator for each aircraft in the RAAF fleet.

These simulators are complex, computer-driven machines, which accurately reflect the motion, sights and sounds perceived by a pilot in flight, in addition to replicating the cockpit and controls of the particular aircraft type.

The couple will then move to the memorial garden at the RAAF base to plant a plunkett mallee tree.

Also known as a Eucalyptus curtisii tree, a native tree to Queensland, it is the official floral emblem for Ipswich City Council.

A plaque will read: "This Tree of Remembrance was planted by Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in honour of the service and sacrifice freely given by the Men and Women of the Royal Australian Air Force".

International and local media await the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at RAAF Base Amberley.
International and local media await the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at RAAF Base Amberley. Claudia Baxter


The tree planting is of special significance because His Royal Highness Prince Albert, Duke of York - later King George VI - planted a tree at Point Cook on April 26, 1927, in what became a memorial grove in memory of the four aircrew from No 1 Squadron who died when two aircraft collided mid air days earlier during a flypast in his honour.

After visiting the officers and sergeants mess where the Duke and Duchess will meet four families of service personnel lost during recent conflicts, they will make their way to the Brisbane Convention Centre at Southbank.

The more than 200 inspiring Queenslanders at the reception will include young people excelling in their fields and comprise representatives from the homeless and welfare sector, drought-affected rural areas, the conservation, education, disability, arts, sport, health, youth development, defence and business sectors.

The Youth Symphony Orchestra - including two violinists, one violist and one cellist - will perform during the reception.

Regional Queensland producers got a look in for the reception menu with Mooloolaba King Prawns and Spanner Crab cakes, Warwick lamb loin with Stanthorpe apple jelly, Lockyer Valley cucumber sandwiches and Lockyer Valley mushroom tarts.

Prince William and Kate will then walk through Southbank streets to meet with Queenslanders gathered in the area,
There are eight youth representatives assisting with collecting floral arrangements and gifts that may be presented to their royal highnesses during the walk.

Five girls and three boys were selected, two from each of the Scout Association of Australia, Girl Guides, Boys Brigade and Girls Brigade. Their ages range between 14 and 18 years of age.

The couple will leave for Brisbane Airport at 3.15pm and return to Sydney for further engagements tomorrow.

Premier Campbell Newman said this was The Duke's second visit to Brisbane but this would be The Duchesses' first time.

"I am particularly excited for The Duchess to see our great city and I look forward to extending the best wishes to their Royal Highnesses on behalf of all Queenslanders," he said.

"Although a short visit, we are expecting big crowds so I urge everyone to be in position for the public walk early before their arrival at 2.50pm.

"I encourage all Queenslanders to take advantage of Easter weekend and get down to the South Bank Parklands to take part in what is really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

A map of public viewing opportunities at South Bank is now available online.

Topics:  duke and duchess of cambridge editors picks monarchy royal family royal visit

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