Between the 10th and 16th of November Their Royal Highnesses, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visited the Commonwealth nation of New Zealand on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen who is this year celebrating her Diamond Jubilee marking 60 years since she ascended the throne.
During the couple’s tour they spent two days in Auckland where on the first day they visited the Auckland War Memorial Museum and attended the Armistice Day commemorations. When the government cars started to arrive the crowd started to buzz with excitement and the scores of cameras started to snap furiously, the royal couple arrived in a government BMW flying the Royal Standard, everyone was now standing trying to arch a glimpse of the pair as they exited the car and walked swiftly into the museum.
When the service started the couple emerged from the museum with the Prime Minister and other dignitaries, to an even greater flurry of photos. During the ceremony the couple listened to speeches, paid their respects and towards the end of the service the Prince of Wales was invited to lay a wreath on behalf of Her Majesty, The Queen. He was the first of many dignitaries including ambassadors to other countries to lay such a wreath in commemoration. After the service the couple was invited to a private gathering where they met with. A number of people and spent some time speaking with them. They then exited the museum through the side door where a small group of royal-watchers were gathered to catch a glimpse of the couple as they left. They gave a smile and wave and were driven away.
The next day the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall embarked on an extremely busy day of engagements starting with a visit to the AUT Millennium and a performance of Hairy Maclary, at the Bruce Mason Theatre. The Duke and Duchess then separated with the Prince of Wales visiting the Devonport Naval Base and the Duchess of Cornwall attending a briefing for Osteoporosis researchers and members of Osteoporosis New Zealand at The Langham Hotel. The couple then made their first completely public walk-about down Queen Street. Even though the weather was not on their side, hundreds gathered along the barriers in the rain to catch a glimpse of Their Royal Highnesses.
They made their way down the line, meeting as many people as they could. The Duchess was first followed shortly after by the Prince of Wales. The couple continued down the road until they reached The Cloud, a cloud shaped building which was created for the Rugby World Cup where the Prince of Wales delivered a speech and participated in the Shear Brilliance event and the Duchess visited East Tamaki Primary School. Next, His Royal Highness visited The University of Auckland’s Owen Glenn Building to be shown examples of the University’s research. To end the day the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall attended the Diamond Jubilee Trust’s Reception and Dinner at the beautiful SkyCity Convention Centre.
They then left Auckland and went on to visit Wellington, Palmerston North, Fielding and the earthquake ravaged Christchurch before returning home.
Overall the tour was an amazing success with a recent poll showing huge levels of approval for the constitutional monarchy remaining New Zealand’s form of government. We can only hope that New Zealand as a country can see much more of not only Their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall but any and all members of the Royal Family as possible.