Camilla full of praise for 'lovely' NZ
Friday 7 Feb 2014 8:33 a.m.
Prince William and his wife Kate are bound to have a great experience when they tour New Zealand later this year, according to the Duchess of Cornwell.
Camilla herself travelled to New Zealand for the first time in late 2012 with Prince Charles.
The Duchess on Thursday said while she'd wanted to visit sooner "aeroplanes aren't my favourite thing".
But, Camilla told a Waitangi Day event at New Zealand's high commission in London, she was glad she eventually made the journey because people had been "so warm and lovely".
"I can't wait to go back again," she told a lunch hosted by the New Zealand Women's Association.
"This April, William and Catherine are going so I'm sure they'll have a great experience."
Prince William, his wife Kate and, most likely, baby Prince George will tour Australia and New Zealand for three-and-a-half weeks.
Camilla on Thursday performed the famous hongi greeting with Esther Jessop, one of New Zealand's most prominent cultural figures in the UK.
She also helped New Zealand artist Mandii Pope with a painting of Clarence House.
The Duchess daubed dark streaks to create some windows on one of the famous building's ground floor rooms.
Singer Hayley Westenra was one of a number of celebrities at the reception celebrating the contribution of Kiwi women living and working in the UK.
The classical artist, who has previously sung for various members of the royal family, chatted briefly with Camilla about her 2012 trip.
Ms Westenra believes New Zealand's younger generations overwhelming support the royal family.
"During the Christchurch earthquake Prince William came out to support the people of Christchurch and his presence was so appreciated by everyone," she said.
"People feel a strong connection with the royal family."
The 26-year-old expects Kiwis will want to catch a glimpse of Prince George in April.
"He's pretty cute," she said.
Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas, who received her damehood from the Queen in 2002 for services to the City of London, said it was fantastic that Kiwi women abroad stayed in touch, particularly now with new social media.
The lawyer and academic said while she'd spent the majority of her working life in London "New Zealand really is in my heart".