Baby George has royal play day in New Zealand

WELLINGTON- Britain’s baby Prince George hosted his first ever official function on Wednesday — maintaining a regal calm on a play date with a group of New Zealand toddlers, even as some of the others burst into tears.

The eight-month old, whose parents Prince William and Kate began a tour of New Zealand on Monday, met 10 local babies at Wellington’s Government House at a play session organized by non-profit childcare group Plunket.

George, who was born on July 22 last year, looked comfortable in the spotlight as his mother gently rocked him in her arms and chatted to his playmates’ parents.

The babies sat in a room with a large portrait of George’s great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth II looking down from the wall, with cushions and toys scattered on the floor, including a giant blue teddy bear.

There were tears from some of the other infants as introductions were made but George, dressed in dark-coloured dungaree shorts and a white t-shirt, appeared calm even after dropping a toy to the floor.

Plunket president Tristine Clark said the babies were all roughly the same age as George and were born to first-time parents, just like William and Kate.

She said the parents were also selected to reflect the diversity of New Zealand society, including various ethnic groups and a same-sex couple.

“The parents are a spread of all the communities in New Zealand, including Maoris, Samoans, people of Chinese descent and gay couples,” she said ahead of the session.

“This is a very multi-cultural country and we wanted the Duke and Duchess (of Cambridge) to meet people from all backgrounds.”

Kate wore a simple black and white dress for the occasion, while William opted for an open-necked blue shirt with the sleeves rolled up as he sipped on a soft drink.