3 Mar 2014

Royal tour to include Prince George

9:08 pm on 3 March 2014

The Royal Plunket Society is hoping Prince George's debut royal engagement will be with similar aged babies at a parent group in Wellington in April.

The eight-month-old is accompanying his parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, when they visit New Zealand.

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Photo: AFP

The Duke and Duchess and Prince George will arrive in New Zealand on 7 April and depart for Australia on 16 April - visiting Wellington, Blenheim, Auckland, Hamilton, Cambridge, Dunedin, Queenstown and Christchurch.

They will spend their first day in New Zealand meeting with 10 Plunket families at Government House in Wellington, an event that will have special meaning for the organisation.

It was granted permission to use the title "Royal" almost 100 years ago, in June 1915, by King George V - Prince George's great great great grandfather.

While it hasn't been confirmed the young prince will accompany his parents to the Plunket meet-and-greet, the society has already chosen a gift of a blue teddy bear for him.

President Tristine Clark says the 10 lucky families haven't been chosen yet but she expects the conversation will flow freely.

"Probably just about what their children are doing at that stage; just talk about your worries and your hopes and the development of your child at that age so I think it will be pretty laid back and casual."

Visits to the CTV Memorial Park in Christchurch, war memorials, aircraft museums and airforce bases dominate most of the royal family's trip, but there will also be some adventure.

The couple will race each other on America's Cup boats in Auckland, ride the Shotover Jet in Queenstown, open the National Velodrome cycling venue in Cambridge, and sample some Otago wines.

Then they will fly to Australia where they will spend nine days.

Radio New Zealand's royal correspondent Robert Jobson says it had been planned for some time that Prince George would join his parents on the trip.

Mr Jobson says Prince William has a particular affinity with New Zealand and wants to share that with his wife, Catherine.