Go behind the scenes of The Royal Tour with our photographer blogs from New Zealand and Australia. Hagen Hopkins gives the behind the scenes scoop at the State Reception in New Zealand.

After spending the day in Blenheim meeting the locals, William and Catherine flew back to Wellington to attend the state reception where I was one of three photographers shooting for the New Zealand pool.

As I made my way up Government House through the wind and rain, it occurred to me the rain hasn't stopped since the tour started! Luckily, the reception was being held inside so once I had shaken off the raindrops and composed myself, I began setting up my gear and taking a few test shots in preparation for the entrance of the royals.

The who's who of New Zealand politics were all in attendance, including Prime Minister John Key, and the mood was very lively leading up to the official start of the ceremony.

Around 7pm, the talking and laughter of the guests was silenced by a line of trumpeters who came to life as William and Catherine entered the room. Catherine continued the New Zealand theme on her outfit after arriving in New Zealand with a silver fern broach on her dress, tonight she wore a black dress with a large stylized silver fern over the left shoulder. (Editor’s Note: Dress is by British designer Jenny Packham)

The royal guests were welcomed with a warm, relaxed speech from Governor-General, Sir Jerry Mateparae and William returned the favour with an equally friendly and often funny speech of his own. After getting a few laughs from the crowd and complimenting New Zealand on a number of things, including its wine, William, along with Catherine unveiled a painting of Queen Elizabeth II by New Zealand artist Nick Cuthell.

Then it was time for a bit of mingling. With a relatively large number of guests and a fixed position for photography, it proved difficult getting nice clean photos of the royals socializing, but with a bit of patience and a touch of luck, I managed to get a couple of good frames.

Another Wellington event done and dusted! The next time I photograph the royals will be the last day of the tour which will hopefully provide a bit of colour and some memorable moments with the Wellington public.

Editor's Note: For more picture of the Royal Tour, click here.

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