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Kate: Australia trip will always be fondly remembered

The Duchess of Cambridge has thanked Australia for the warm welcome she and baby Prince George have received and said the visit "will always be remembered with fond and happy memories".

The Duchess of Cambridge (right) visits children and relatives at Bear Cottage in Sydney Credit: Mark Large/PA

Kate, who was visiting a children's hospice in Sydney with William, praised many people including prime minister Tony Abbott and thousands of well-wishers who have greeted the Cambridges since their tour began a few days ago.

The Duchess toured Sydney's Bear Cottage - one of only two children's hospices in Australia - and praised the centre as a "haven" that was "inspirational".

Kate, who is royal patron of East Anglia's Children's Hospice (Each), said in a speech: "If I may, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has welcomed me and George so incredibly warmly on our first visit.

"To be here together as a family has been very special and we will always remember it with fond and happy memories."

The Duchess added: "First class delivery of children's palliative care is life changing. When families are confronted with the shattering news that their children have a life limiting condition, their world can fall apart. It is at those times that professional support is imperative."

Pictures: Duke and Duchess watch life-saving displays on beach

Duke and Duchess watch life-saving displays on Manly Beach

The Duke and Duchess have viewed a surf life-saving display as well as meeting volunteers at the popular Manly Beach in Sydney.

The Dutchess went down onto the beach and watched the performance, acting out a race to the sea front like a life guard.

Britain's Duchess of Cambridge, runs across Manly beach imitating the life guards. Credit: REUTERS/Phil Noble

The Royal couple are currently on their twelfth day of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's official tour to New Zealand and Australia.

The Duchess of Cambridge runs across the beach Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA

Read More: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Sydney

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Kate and William meet Fred the ram in Sydney

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met Fred the ram as they visited the Royal Easter Show at Sydney Olympic Park.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge today visited the Royal Easter Show in Sydney. Credit: REUTERS/Phil Noble
Photographers look on as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet Fred the ram. Credit: Press Association

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Duke and Duchess visit Royal Easter Show in Sydney

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have today visited the Royal Easter Show at Sydney Olympic Park.

The royal couple observed sheep shearing and learnt more about rural produce during the short visit.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge today visited the Royal Easter Show in Sydney. Credit: Instagram/Clarence House
The couple are on day 12 of their tour of New Zealand and Australia. Credit: Instagram/Clarence House

Queen presents money to pensioners at Maundy service

The Queen commemorates Maundy by offering "alms" to senior citizens
The Queen commemorates Maundy by offering "alms" to senior citizens Credit: PA wire

The Queen, joined by the Duke Edinburgh, has presented money to pensioners at the traditional Royal Maundy Thursday service.

Hundreds of well-wishers lined the streets outside Blackburn Cathedral in Lancashire to welcome the royal party to the service which dates back to the 13th century.

Crowds wait for Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh outside Blackburn Cathedral
Crowds wait for Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh outside Blackburn Cathedral Credit: PA wire

The Queen distributed Maundy money to senior citizens, including retired pensioners who have been recognised by the clergy and ministers for their service to the church and local authority.

Maundy Thursday is the Christian holy day on the Thursday before Easter to commemorate the Maundy and Last Supper of Jesus Christ
Maundy Thursday is the Christian holy day on the Thursday before Easter to commemorate the Maundy and Last Supper of Jesus Christ Credit: PA wire

During the service 88 men and 88 women received a coin for each of the Queen's 88 years of reigning. Each pensioner was also given a white purse and red purse to mark the celebration.

Read: Prince George receives cuddly wombat gift

William and Kate 'will return' to Blue Mountains

The stunning views from one of Australia's most visited beauty spots left the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge declaring they will return some day.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stand in front of the 'Three Sisters' rock formation. Credit: Reuters

William described the breathtaking Three Sisters viewing point across the Blue Mountains as "a great place for a picnic" while Kate discussed bush walking and said they would come back.

The couple were greeted at the beauty spot by around 3,000 well-wishers lining crash barriers.

William and Kate, who wore a Diane von Furstenburg wrap dress and wedges, were welcomed by cheers from the crowds and walked down to a platform to see the majestic views across the Blue Mountain range.

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