Kate goes fact-finding on hospice care in New Zealand

Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, wave as they arrive at Hamilton airport on April 12, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, wave as they arrive at Hamilton airport on April 12, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, reacts as she meets members of the public during a visit with her husband Prince William, in Cambridge on April 12, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, reacts as she meets members of the public during a visit with her husband Prince William, in Cambridge on April 12, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Britain's Prince William (right) and his wife Catherine (centre) speak to Prime Minister John Key (left) as they open the new Avanti Drome, New Zealand's National Cycling Centre of Excellence in Cambridge, Waikato on April 12, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Britain's Prince William (right) and his wife Catherine (centre) speak to Prime Minister John Key (left) as they open the new Avanti Drome, New Zealand's National Cycling Centre of Excellence in Cambridge, Waikato on April 12, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, talks with members of the public during a walkabout in Cambridge, on April 12, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, talks with members of the public during a walkabout in Cambridge, on April 12, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, are presented with a cycling shirt for their son Prince George at the opening of the National Cycling Centre of Excellence and Velodrome, in Cambridge on April 12, 2014. -- PHOTO:
Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, are presented with a cycling shirt for their son Prince George at the opening of the National Cycling Centre of Excellence and Velodrome, in Cambridge on April 12, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, hold flowers as they prepare to lay them on the war memorial in Cambridge on April 12, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, hold flowers as they prepare to lay them on the war memorial in Cambridge on April 12, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Britain's Duchess of Cambridge Catherine (right) speaks with Kaiya Miller after receiving flowers during a visit to Waikato Hospice Rainbow Place in Waikato on April 12, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Britain's Duchess of Cambridge Catherine (right) speaks with Kaiya Miller after receiving flowers during a visit to Waikato Hospice Rainbow Place in Waikato on April 12, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Britain's Duchess of Cambridge Catherine (left) greets children alongside Craig Tamblyn during a visit to Waikato Hospice Rainbow Place in Waikato on April 12, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Britain's Duchess of Cambridge Catherine (left) greets children alongside Craig Tamblyn during a visit to Waikato Hospice Rainbow Place in Waikato on April 12, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Bailey Taylor Rupe talks with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, as they sit in the playroom of the Waikato Hospice in Hamilton on April 12, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Bailey Taylor Rupe talks with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, as they sit in the playroom of the Waikato Hospice in Hamilton on April 12, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Britain's Duchess of Cambridge Catherine (left) speaks with Bailey Taylor during a visit to Waikato Hospice Rainbow Place in Waikato on April 12, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Britain's Duchess of Cambridge Catherine (left) speaks with Bailey Taylor during a visit to Waikato Hospice Rainbow Place in Waikato on April 12, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Britain's Duchess of Cambridge Catherine (right) greets children during a visit to Waikato Hospice Rainbow Place in Waikato on April 12, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Britain's Duchess of Cambridge Catherine (right) greets children during a visit to Waikato Hospice Rainbow Place in Waikato on April 12, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

HAMILTON, New Zealand (AFP) - The Duchess of Cambridge carried out her first solo engagement on Saturday on her New Zealand tour for a fact-finding visit to a children's hospice where she told the curious youngsters that even royals have to eat all their vegetables.

She was welcomed by more than 40 children and their families at the Rainbow Place hospice in the North Island city of Hamilton.

The duchess has strong ties with children's hospices in Britain and was said to be using the New Zealand visit as a fact-finding study on palliative care.

"I'm sure you're all going through difficult times and so it's really good to have a place like this, to be able to talk about your feelings and to meet other people who are going through the same thing.

"There should be more places like this," she told the children before taking questions, including one on whether royalty also had to eat all their vegetables.

"Yes I do. I have to eat all my vegetables and so does George," she replied, referring to eight-month-old Prince George.

The duchess later joined Prince William in opening a new velodrome in the nearby town of Cambridge where about 15,000 people lined the streets to greet the couple despite pouring rain.

After meeting members of New Zealand's sporting elite including world and Olympic champions in cycling, rowing and canoeing, the couple were presented with a small bike and New Zealand team lycras for Prince George.