The Duchess of Cornwall celebrated Waitangi Day on February 6 by attending an event in central London to recognise the achievements of women from New Zealand who are working in the UK.
The High Commissioner of New Zealand, Sir Lockwood Smith, and Lady Smith, Patron of the New Zealand Women’s Association, greeted Camilla by welcoming her to New Zealand High Commission House.
Waitangi Day celebrates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, which dates back to 1840, and was the founding document of New Zealand. It was therefore thought to be an appropriate day for such an event. The New Zealand Women’s Association (NZWA) hosted the event, as the organisation is dedicated to maintaining the relationship between the two countries.
February 6 is also Accession Day, when Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II, following the death of her father, George VI. The Queen is thought to have celebrated privately, as The Duchess of Cornwall attended the event.
Lawyer and academic, Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas DBE, award-winning poet Fleur Adcock, singer/songwriter Hayley Westenra, and presenter of Masterchef, Monica Galetti, were among the New Zealanders who attended, having become successful in their respective fields working in the UK.
Camilla first visited New Zealand in 2012, for the Diamond Jubilee, and shared tales of her visit with guests at the reception. She revealed she isn’t too keen on flying, the fear having prevented her from travelling to the island before. A glass vase was later presented to the 66-year-old to mark her visit.
At Thursday’s event, the Duchess even used the traditional hongi greeting of rubbing noses to greet Esther Jessop, a founding member of the Ngati Ranana London Maori Club, and told guests she thought William and Kate would have ‘a great experience’ when they visit the country on their tour later this Spring.