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Camilla's big day out

Monday 12 Nov 2012 5:50 p.m.

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By Amanda Gillies

It is Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall's first time to New Zealand and her first Kiwi experience.

And though afternoon tea and a little reading might sound plain, if not tame, that wasn't at all how it turned out for Prince Charles’ wife.

One of Camilla's all-time favourite reads is Hairy Maclary, written by Dame Lynley Dodd, and today the duchess got the chance to see Hairy Maclary on stage.

And while hundreds of giggling school children also watched the show, Thomas Wyatt missed out, so outside he shamelessly appealed to Camilla's British roots - and it worked.

“She was really nice to us,” says Mr Wyatt. “She said to me, 'You have a nice outfit on,' and I said, 'Thank you.'”

Camilla then ditched her other half and went solo for an engagement close to her heart – osteoporosis. Her own mother died of the disease and she spoke to those battling it now.

After that it was a trip to a south Auckland primary school for a meal, and it’s fair to say the school’s kitchen was a long way from Buckingham Palace’s dining rooms.

But Camilla didn’t seem fazed; she donned an apron and sat for cake with the kids, and even demolished two servings.  

The Duchess of Cornwall went from engagement to engagement with barely a hair out of place, and there's a good reason for that - Kiwi taxpayers are paying for her personal hairdresser to travel with her.

But just what cost that will be we will find out after she has gone.

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