William, Kate and Prince George say goodbye as Australia and New Zealand tour ends

media captionThe Duke and Duchess of Cambridge laid a wreath at an Anzac Day remembrance service in Canberra

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand has drawn to a close.

The royal couple held Prince George, who cried as they waved from the steps of a plane in Canberra before beginning their journey back to the UK.

On the final day of the trip they joined a dawn service to honour Australia's war dead to mark Anzac Day.

Kensington Palace said Prince William and Catherine had been "bowled over" by their welcome on the tour.

The tour, which has included Prince George's first royal engagements, has also taken in Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide after they first visited New Zealand.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was among the dignitaries at Canberra airport as the family boarded the Royal Australian Air Force plane taking them to their flight home.

image copyrightAP
image captionPrince George cried as the family boarded their flight in Canberra
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionThe tour has included Prince George's first royal engagements
image copyrightAFP/Getty
image captionAustralian Prime Minister Tony Abbott joined the farewell party

A Kensington Palace spokesman said: "The tour of New Zealand and Australia has been an incredible experience for both the Duke and Duchess and the couple really have enjoyed it immensely.

"We always said this would be an opportunity for the duke to introduce both countries to the duchess and Prince George and the couple have been bowled over by the extraordinarily warm welcome shown to them as a family by people everywhere they went."

Earlier, the royal couple joined military personnel, veterans and the public in Canberra to mark Anzac Day.

The Australian War Memorial held a service at dawn, in keeping with tradition, as a reminder of the dawn landing of troops on Gallipoli in 1915.

Later in the morning the couple, appearing without their son Prince George, laid a wreath at the memorial.

The duke and duchess, who have also visited New Zealand during their tour, joined figures including Mr Abbott and Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove in paying their respects.

The name Anzac Day comes from the acronym used to describe the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

image copyrightReuters
image captionThe royal couple attended a dawn service at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra
image copyrightAFP/Getty
image captionThe couple planted seedlings as part of the Anzac Day commemorations

More than 500,000 Allied soldiers were involved in the Gallipoli campaign, an attempt to open the Dardanelles Strait in modern-day Turkey to Allied navies during World War One.

Tens of thousands of Allied troops, including more than 8,000 Australians, died in the campaign, which failed to achieve its military objectives.

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