Sunday 25 September 2016

Raining royals forced Down Under cover on Kiwi tour leg

Published 04/11/2015 | 02:46

Charles and Camilla take shelter from the wet weather in Wellington Airport's VIP terminal at the start of their week-long tour of New Zealand before travelling on to Australia
Charles and Camilla take shelter from the wet weather in Wellington Airport's VIP terminal at the start of their week-long tour of New Zealand before travelling on to Australia

Lashing rain and strong winds greeted the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall when they arrived in New Zealand's capital for a 12-day tour Down Under.

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Despite it being springtime in the country, the Duchess was left clutching a see-through umbrella and wore a scarf around her head as she braved the wintry weather in Wellington, while the Prince ignored the cold conditions as they walked across the tarmac after landing.

The royal couple's official welcome was hastily rearranged as the predicted let up in the bad weather failed to materialise and they met waiting dignitaries - including prime minister John Key - inside a military terminal at Wellington International airport.

Charles and Camilla were warmly greeted in turn by Mr Key and his wife Bronagh before leaving for a ceremonial welcome at nearby Government House with New Zealand's governor-general Sir Jerry Mateparae.

During their trip Charles and Camilla will meet Australia's new republican prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, see a majestic armada of Maori canoes and the heir to the throne will celebrate his birthday with an Aussie "beachside barbie''.

After spending a few days in Wellington, the royal couple will travel to Dunedin, Nelson, Ngaruawahia, New Plymouth and Auckland, before heading to Australia to visit Adelaide, Tanunda, Canberra, Sydney, Albany and Perth on their busy official trip.

During the coming days Charles and Camilla will be welcomed to Turangawaewae Marae, the home of the Kingitanga or Maori King Movement, where they will view a waka armada of canoes on the country's longest river, the Waikato, on the North Island.

They will also travel by train into Dunedin station and, to mark Conservation Week in New Zealand, visit the Orokonui Eco-Sanctuary - home to some of New Zealand's rarest birds, reptiles and plants in the most protected forest in the South Island.

When they travel to Australia, Charles, who will one day be the country's head of state, will meet Mr Turnbull on Remembrance Day in Canberra on November 11 and it could prove to be an interesting encounter.

Mr Turnbull, who is Australia's fourth leader since 2013, was once the public face of the country's republican movement.

He was chairman of the Australian Republican Movement for seven years and described his own Liberal leader, John Howard, as "the prime minister who broke this nation's heart'' when a referendum to ditch the monarchy failed in 1999.

But in recent years, the popularity of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children has dampened enthusiasm for replacing the monarch with a president, with Prince George being dubbed the "republican slayer" when he joined his parents on a tour of the country in 2014.

Press Association

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