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Prince William, Catherine, George begin royal visit to Australia

Prince William, Duchess Catherine and their son Prince George have touched down in Australia. 

William, 31, the second in line to the British throne, stepped off a Royal Australian Air Force jet carrying him and his family just after 2:35 p.m. Sydney time, kicking off their 10-day tour of Australia, according to the Associated Press.

The latest leg comes after the royal family concluded a 10-day tour of New Zealand, which included a slew of ceremonial appearances, a yacht race and a cricket tournament.

PHOTOS: Royals visit New Zealand and Australia

The Australia visit will cap off the duke and duchess of Cambridge's three-week spring tour and will include a visit to the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, a stop at the city zoo and a trip to the country's Outback, where the family will see Ayers Rock, the Associated Press said.

The duchess, 32, formerly Kate Middleton, carried 8-month-old Prince George off the plane before handing him off to Prince William. The trio was greeted by fans and dignitaries, including Prime Minister Tony Abbott, New South Wales Gov. Marie Bashir and Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove. He is Queen Elizabeth's representative in Australia.

Clad in a canary yellow dress from London-based Serbian designer Roksanda Ilincic, Kate reportedly confided to one well-wisher that her husband wasn't a fan of her smock's bright hue.

PHOTOS: Kate Middleton through the years

"William said I look like a banana," the contemporary fashion icon reportedly said (via the Daily Mail). However, the saturated hue may have been an homage to one of Australia's colors.

Upon arrival at the Sydney Opera House, the royals greeted fans and posed for photos at the Harbour Bridge as they made their way up the steps to the iconic theater.

Later, they traveled via police boat to Admiralty House, where they will be hosted by Sir Peter and Lady Cosgrove.

PHOTOS: Prince George's christening photos unveiled

In 1983, a 9-month-old Prince William joined his parents, Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, on their official spring tour to Australia and New Zealand.

William's son, who is third in line to the British throne, has been racking up gifts during his family's tour. The latest in the hospitality department includes a giant stuffed wombat from the Cosgroves, according to People. Incidentally, "wombat" was William's nickname when he was George's age. The little prince also received an Australian cricketers cap bearing his name.

"The affection that my grandmother, the queen, has for this nation is infectious," William said during a speech at their welcoming reception. "Her Majesty spoke recently of how, since her first visit here 60 years ago, she has been privileged to witness Australia's growing economy and flowering self-confidence.

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"For Catherine, Harry and me, born in the early '80s, we've never known anything else -- Australia and Australians have always been for us a beacon of confidence, creativity in the arts and sporting ability."

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PHOTOS AND MORE: PHOTOS: Celebrity portraits by The Times PHOTOS: Royal visit to New Zealand and Australia PHOTOS: 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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