William conquers with Kate, George's help

They're so normal, and George is so cute - Prince William and Kate have conquered Australia with the help of His Royal Cuteness.

They have seen Sydney Harbour and Uluru.

They have planted trees, patted bilbies, shaken many hands - and won a lot of new admirers.

As they fly home to England, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge can settle back in their seats confident that their visit to Australia and New Zealand has been a triumph.

Of course, any relaxation might depend on the mood of young Prince George - nine-month-olds, regal or otherwise, don't really care about the desires of their parents.

But George has been a big part of the royal success story.

Australians didn't have the privilege of a playdate with His Royal Cuteness - that pleasure was reserved for our cousins across the ditch during the rain-soaked New Zealand tour.

But George did appear at Sydney's Taronga Zoo, for a meeting with a bilby named in his honour, and was never far from the minds of the thousands of people who lined up to meet Prince William and Kate.

Most of the time, George stayed behind with his Spanish nanny as his parents greeted crowds at a long list of public engagements: the Sydney Opera House, the Blue Mountains, Manly Beach, the Royal Easter Show - the list went on.

Their Sydney-heavy itinerary was broken by visits to Queensland to meet bereaved military families, to the Northern Territory to see Uluru, and to Adelaide to visit a youth centre.

The tour ended in Canberra, with a Parliament House reception and official duties at the Anzac Day ceremony.

At every stage, well-wishers turned out and went away happy, with "lovely" and "normal" repeatedly used to describe the young royals.

In the Northern Territory town of Yulara, Mette Spencer brought her one-year-old daughter Sophia out to see Kate on her Uluru visit.

"She's a first-time mother like us," Ms Spencer said.

Canberran Ross Brown repeated the sentiments of many after he saw the couple depart from his home town on Friday.

"Will and Kate are so normal. They really got out amongst the people," he said.

In a gesture which put a final seal on the tour's goodwill, William and Kate were unexpected attendees at the Anzac Day dawn service in Canberra.

In organisational terms, even with a contingent of up to 60 journalists, photographers and cameramen following them around the country, the tour was a success.

Each costume change for Kate was met with approval, even if eyebrows were raised when she kept her towering wedge-heeled shoes on for a run on Manly Beach.

Even the resignation of NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell on the morning of William and Kate's arrival did not halt the royal momentum.

With the royals now departed on a wave of popular goodwill, republicans and monarchists will argue what this means for the future of Australia.

Most people will leave them to it but momentum for change has certainly diminished: a survey on the eve of the royal visit found support for an Australian republic is at a 22-year-low.

William, Kate and secret weapon George may not have set out to deliberately reinforce the case for the monarchy but they have certainly done it no harm.

Source AAP

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