Real Life

New Zealand’s own William and Kate

The remarkable story of New Zealand's William and Kate.

The paddocks of Temuka are a far cry from Kensington Palace. But for dairy farmers and young lovebirds William Christie and Kate Campbell, their uniquely close connection to the royal “William and Kate” goes way beyond sharing first names.

Incredibly, on the same day the heir to the throne was born, New Zealand’s “Wills and Kate” also became proud parents, to a gorgeous baby boy named Marley, born at Timaru Hospital.

“They’re royals, we are dairy farmers, but it’s exciting that our lives are so similar,” Kate says, affectionately, as she cradles the gorgeous newborn in her arms.

To their family and friends, Marley’s birth caused as much fanfare as the royal news.

With a huge smile, William proudly adds, “Our son can be the Prince of Timaru.”

Adorable Marley’s birthday will always be extra special.

Kate (19) says it was a fairytale romance when she met her prince, William (22), 18 months ago through mutual friends.

“We had this instant connection. We became inseparable,” she explains. Originally from the Waikato, the couple moved to the South Island last year to work on a dairy farm, and eventually settled in Temuka. It was in their new community when locals first made the royal connection.

“He was Wills and I was Kate. Everyone started calling us the local royals and the name kind of stuck,” she smiles.

While Kate thinks her namesake is, “nice and very pretty”, she’d never been a royal family fan, until people started pointing out the similarities between her and Kate. When the two of them became pregnant concurrently, the coincidences continued. Both Kates were hospitalised for severe morning sickness at exactly the same time.

“I started reading about Kate and was interested in how she handled the situation. And, like Kate, I got better. The more the pregnancy went along, the more I enjoyed it. I couldn’t wait until my baby was born.”

Originally due in the middle of August, Kate was shocked when she started having contractions three weeks early. After an 11-hour labour, she gave birth naturally, the very same day as the new heir!

“Gosh, talk about a freaky coincidence,” Kate says about her son’s royal entrance.

“I’m determined to follow Kate more, now that she is a mother, just like me,” she adds.

Wills and Kate didn’t want to give their baby the same name as its royal counterpart, and opted instead to give their son  a unique moniker. But Marley does have a regal middle name – George.

“We both have a granddad named George, so we felt that it was perfect.”

But unlike the royal couple, the Kiwi Wills and Kate have yet to walk down the aisle. William insists a proposal is on the cards in the near future, but they’re not planning an extravagant event.

“We’re going to get married in a paddock on the farm. That suits both of us,” William says.

And the young parents have a simple goal for the years ahead.

“We want both boys to grow up to be fit and healthy and fulfill all their hopes and dreams,” explains William.

He also has one more wish for his son.

“I hope he finds his princess – just like I have found mine.”

Aroha Awarau Photos: Robert at Langwood Photography. • Hair & Make-up: Barbara Kelly at Shine Salon and Spa.

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