Charles and Camilla about to touch down in NZ

  • 04/11/2015
Prince Charles & Camilla with the Governer General in 2012 (Reuters)
Prince Charles & Camilla with the Governer General in 2012 (Reuters)

By Sarah Robson

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla are about to touch down in New Zealand.

The royal couple are winging their way down under for a week-long visit that'll take them from one end of the country to the other.

They land in Wellington this afternoon, where they'll be met by Prime Minister John Key and his wife Bronagh, along with Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown.

From there it's off to Government House for the official welcome ceremony with Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae and his wife Lady Janine.

"It will be a great pleasure to welcome The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall on behalf of all New Zealanders," Sir Jerry said.

"This visit is a great opportunity to strengthen the relationship this country has with the heir to the throne. I know people will be very keen to show Their Royal Highnesses the warm hospitality Kiwis are famous for."

Later this afternoon, Wellingtonians will get a chance to catch a glimpse of Prince Charles and Camilla when they lay a wreath at the National War Memorial and place a fern on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior.

There will then be a state reception for the royal couple back at Government House.

The rest of their New Zealand visit will take the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall as far south as Dunedin and as far north as Auckland.

Highlights are bound to include a trip on the Taieri Gorge Railway, a visit to the Orokonui Ecosanctuary near Dunedin and a day taking in the sights of New Plymouth.

They will also be welcomed by Kingi Tuheitia on to Turangawaewae Marae, where there will be a salute by a waka armada.

The royal couple were last in New Zealand in 2012 as part of the Queen's diamond jubilee celebrations.

During that visit, Prince Charles celebrated his 64th birthday with 64 Kiwis who share the same birthday.

Prince Harry visited New Zealand for the first time in May, while his older brother Prince William and his wife Kate came in 2014, with then-eight-month-old Prince George in tow.

NZN