The prince, the play date and a small incident of theft

Royal baby has first play date
Royal baby has first play date

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Story highlights

  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George are visiting NZ and Australia
  • Prince George had a play date with 10 babies in Wellington on Wednesday
  • The 8-month-old prince was described by one onlooker as "quite a bruiser"
  • He didn't scream or break anything but did grab a toy from one of the other children

Taking your baby along to a new play group can be nerve-wracking.

You don't want any fuss, you just want to blend in. You hope and pray that your kid isn't the one who screams, hits or breaks something.

All you want is to slip in, sit down and be told how beautiful and well-behaved your little one is.

Prince George was put to the test Wednesday at a specially convened play group in Government House, Wellington, New Zealand.

The 8-month-old was never going to just slip in, because he had brought the world's media with him. But he didn't scream, hit or break anything ... just one incident of theft.

Amelia Howe was playing with a plastic block. George grabbed it, Amelia screamed, and Mr. and Mrs. Howe apologized to the Duchess of Cambridge.

They later explained that Amelia had hurt herself by biting down too hard on the toy.

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Prince George's royal duties have begun
Prince George's royal duties have begun

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Prince George's first royal tour
Prince George's first royal tour

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"This one was chewing on a toy, and she's teething, so she bit it, and it obviously hurt her. She dropped it, and the toy got flogged, and that was the end of it," her father said.

There were no hard feelings, and the Howes are hoping Amelia will stay in touch with her new British playmate. A royal wedding in 30 years' time?

The event was organized by the parental support group, Plunket, and a diverse group of families was invited, including a single mom and gay couple.

All the 10 babies attending were born within a few weeks of Prince George. He was the biggest: "quite a bruiser," said one onlooker.

Parent Jared Mullen said the Duke and Duchess were "lovely first-time parents."

"In many ways, they're in the same boat as all of us who are trying to get used to it, and it was just very nice to have a relaxed time," he said, describing young George as "very intrepid."

The playgroup was Prince George's main event in New Zealand.

We don't expect to see him at another engagement until the tour moves on to Australia.

This event was typically informal for William and Kate, who swapped parental anecdotes (George is finally sleeping through the night, apparently).

It may have felt like a regular play group, but of course, it wasn't.

Who knows what most of them will do when they grow up. The world is their oyster.

One of them, though, has had his whole life mapped out for him. George is destined to be their king. He hasn't got a clue about that yet, of course.

In fact, it's the only time in his life that he will feel normal. For George, it was just a play date.

Prince George's first royal tour: The kid's a natural

Portrait of Prince George at eight months