PARENTS

Prince George Goes On Crawl-About At First Official Engagement

14/08/2014 17:00 | Updated 20 May 2015

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge and Prince George's first play date

Prince George went on his first official visit - a crawl-about in New Zealand when he showed he already has the royal knack for working the room.

The eight-month-old joined 10 other babies at the world's most exclusive playgroup for his first official engagement.

Utterly engaging in 'sailboat smocked dungarees', curious George crawled around a plush carpet strewn with toys and played with other babies.

Prince George crawling on Royal Tour

The playgroup was organised by The Royal New Zealand Plunket Society, or Plunket for short, which provides free parental support services to more than nine in 10 babies.

It was the first of what will become a lifetime of engagements – but few will be as relaxed as today's play session.

George's mum, the Duchess of Cambridge, carried her young prince on her hip as she chatted and laughed with other parents about their shared experiences.

As the Duchess was holding George he pulled at her hair and put it in his mouth, waving his arms and kicking his legs in excitement as he spotted the other children with their toys.

He turned his attention to a little girl called Paige who was with her parents, Jenny Stevens, 34, who is British, and New Zealander father Mark, 43.

George waved his arms to get her attention and touched Paige's face - before grabbing her toy wooden doll.

Mrs Stevens told the Duchess: "Paige grabs toys, she's just started teething."

The Duchess replied: "George too."

Prince George Royal tour

Paige started crying after losing her doll to George and turned to her mum to be comforted, burying her face in her arms.

The Duchess then stroked Paige's hair in an attempt to comfort her, as George looked around bored, waving his arms and indicating he wanted to be put down.

Kate gave him a blue plastic block that George put in his mouth but then threw to the floor.

She eventually put him on the carpet and immediately George took off crawling, taking a particular liking to a toy tambourine.

He grabbed at several other toys being held by other babies before Kate encouraged him to crawl to her and then pulled him to his feet.

The infants chosen as George's playmates included the daughter of two gay fathers and children of Maori, Samoan, Polish and Oriental descent.

All were born within days of Prince George, but most were dwarfed by him, apart from Levi Birch, known as 'superman' because of his size.

But Prince George had no fear in pulling himself up towards the other children – and stealing their toys.

His mum watched on protectively, occasionally wiping some dribble from his chin, as Prince William chatted to some of the other parents.

He exclaimed: "It's madness, there are babies everywhere!"

At one point the Duchess pulled her son to his feet and helped him bounce up and down – showing that the prince probably isn't far off the 'cruising' stage.

Prince William began crawling for the first time when he visited Australia with his parents in 1983, but he was nine months old at the time, a month older than George is now.

It is thought to be the first time Prince George has played with a large group of babies – and as any parent knows, babies tend to swap viruses, coughs and colds as soon as they start nursery.

It could be a snuffly few weeks for the baby Prince!

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