SYDNEY: Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate flew into Sydney on Wednesday with their baby son George to kick off the Australian leg of their tour Down Under.
The royals disembarked from an Australian air force 737 under sunny skies after arriving from New Zealand, an AFP photographer said.
Eight-month-old Prince George was in his mother’s arms as Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove — who represents William’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth II in Australia — greeted the couple at Kingsford Smith airport.
A grand reception by the state of New South Wales awaited in the afternoon at the harbourside Opera House, where several thousand onlookers had gathered.
A new poll published Wednesday showed support for a republic in Australia, where the British queen remains head of state, has dropped to a more than two-decade low.
Some 51 percent oppose switching from a constitutional monarchy to a republic, compared to 42 percent who support it, according to the Fairfax-Nielsen survey of 1,400 people carried out from Thursday to Saturday.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were greeted by crowds in the tens of thousands during their ten-day tour of New Zealand, even in small regional towns such as Blenheim and Cambridge.
The royals visit the Blue Mountains on Thursday, Brisbane on April 19 and Uluru (Ayers Rock) on April 22. They head to Adelaide on April 23 and the capital Canberra on April 24 and 25, before flying home.