Will and Kate at the Waratah's game at Allianz Stadium. Picture: Attila Szilvasi. Source: News Corp Australia
HOW does one unwind after a day spent being mobbed by thousands of well wishers and back-to-back official functions?
At the rugby of course.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge jetted back into Sydney earlier this evening after spending the day in Brisbane and headed straight to Allianz Stadium to watch the NSW Waratahs take on the South Africa Bulls.
Wills and Kate enjoying all the action at Allianz Stadium. Picture: Attila Szilvasi Source: News Corp Australia
Hours earlier Kate had a what was a bittersweet private moment on such a public day — meeting privately with war widows.
Nicole Pearce said her meeting with the Duchess was a surreal and privileged experience but desperately wished it could have been under different circumstances.
Waratahs edged the Bulls 19-12 at Allianz Stadium. Picture: Attila Szilvasi. Source: News Corp Australia
Will and Kate at the Waratah's game at Allianz Stadium. Picture: Attila Szilvasi Source: News Corp Australia
Her daughters Stephanie and Hanna lost their father. She lost the man she loved and, for too many years, any sense of a normal life. Nothing can bring her 41-year-old husband back but she was touched by the Duchess's heartfelt concern.
Kate and Prince William spoke with four families who lost loved ones in Afghanistan and Iraq during their tour of Queensland's Amberley RAAF base.
The Duchess looks worn out during the game. Picture: Attila Szilvasi. Source: News Corp Australia
It was a sad but heartwarming occasion for the family.
The Duchess of Cambridge meets the locals in Brisbane. Picture Glenn Hampson Source: News Corp Australia
"I'd rather have Dave here. The reason we're here is because he's not," Mrs Pearce said.
"But I think he would be really proud, really honoured to think we had an opportunity like this." The royal couple also spoke with the grieving families of Lance Corporal Stjepan "Rick"
Milosevic — one of three Australians killed by a rogue Afghan soldier in 2012, Private Matthew Lambert and Flight Lt Paul Pardoel, who died in Iraq.
In a nod to the military's symbol of remembrance, the Duchess wore an elegant white and blue poppy print dress by one of her favourite labels, L.K. Bennett, which was teamed with a clutch bag by Australian designer Oroton.
The dress, which retailed for about $440, was sold out online before the visit, but within minutes of Kate's appearance, versions were being offered on eBay for up to $747.
Earlier the couple had bowed their heads after planting a tree at a memorial garden, in honour of the service and sacrifice of Royal Australian Air Force personnel. But they also made time for some lighter moments.
The Duchess of Cambridge receives flowers from 9 year-old Ashleigh Kearnan Source: Getty Images
There was some banter over just who would sit in the hot seat of a F/A-18F Super Hornet.
"Do you fancy jumping in the back?" were William's not-so-smooth words to Kate as the pair inspected the machines.
Instead of taking up her husband's offer, the Duchess hopped into the cockpit and got to know the controls of the fighter jet while William squeezed into the back seat.
The couple were then whisked to Brisbane's Convention Centre for a lunch reception with 200 people, including dignitaries Premier Campbell Newman and Governor Penelope Wensley, as well as rugby league player Johnathan Thurston and former Olympian Natalie Cook, before they greeted fans outside.
They were almost an hour late and it was more like a royal sprint than a walkabout but, for the estimated 10,000 people who lined the streets in the blistering heat, it didn't matter — they still got a taste of what the British call Katemania.
Their Royal Highness The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at RAAF Base Amberley Source: News Corp Australia
"I never thought anyone could emulate Diana but I think Kate can," Jacinta Strake, 17, said.
Their royal highnesses worked as a team, walking separately down the lines, but always, it seems, in step with each other, the Prince regularly checking his wife's whereabouts.
Among the British press who follow Kate and Wills is Arthur Edwards, the man Princess Diana called her favourite photographer. "Kate has exactly the same quality Diana did," Mr Edwards said.
"That ability to make everyone she comes into contact with feel very special."
While Kate was the star attraction, Prince William still had his own fans in the crowd, including Rebecca Morriss, 40, from the Gold Coast, wrapped in a Royal flag and beneath a Union Jack umbrella.
"He's still my fairytale Prince,'' she said.
Prince George's absence didn't stop some mums in the crowd from touting their baby daughters as possible future wives, including nine-month-old Sophie Trewin sporting a cute smile and a "One day I'm going to marry Prince George" romper suit.
Sadly, the little Prince George was tucked up in Sydney with his nanny.
He will hopefully make an appearance in Sydney on Sunday when his parents visit Taronga Zoo's new bilby enclosure, which is named after him.