Royal tour: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit war memorial on New Zealand's South Island ahead of glamorous state reception

The couple also fitted in tour of an aviation museum

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The Independent Online

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge laid a wreath at a New Zealand war memorial today as their royal tour of the country continued.

William and Kate left Prince George in the care of his nanny while they visited the town of Blenheim on South Island, taking part in a sombre service to honour the nation's war dead.

After the ceremony the pair spoke to some of their fellow attendees, and were given a selection of presents to pass on to the baby.

The memorial service came as part of the country's preparations for Anzac Day, which falls on 25 April marks the anniversary of the first military action involving Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.

Though not commemorating a centenary this year - the first engagement of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps was in 2015 - it is nonetheless annually one of the country's most important national events.

William and Kate left a note on their wreath which read: "Never forgetting those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom," and a bugler played the Last Post.

Later the couple visited the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, where they met New Zealand film-maker Peter Jackson and received a tour around his personal exhibition of WW1 memorabilia.

In the evening they attended a state reception at Government House in Wellington, with William wearing a blue suit and Kate a black dress adorned with a silver fern - a symbol of New Zealand.

Additional reporting by PA