Royals still relevant, claims Monarchy NZ

  • 29/04/2011

The excitement and anticipation surrounding last night's royal wedding highlighted the importance of the British monarchy in New Zealand, Monarchy New Zealand says.

A group of about 300 monarchy supporters converged on the Mercure Hotel in central Auckland to watch and celebrate the wedding last night, Monarchy New Zealand chairperson Simon O'Connor said.

"I thought it was fantastic, a great celebration."

He said as the first dignitaries started arriving at Westminster Abbey the vibe of the room turned "electric".

The most exciting part of the wedding was when the royal couple, William and Kate, stood on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for the fist time as husband and wife, he said.

The wedding highlighted the importance of the monarchy in New Zealand, Mr O'Connor said.

"This is good for the monarchy, [it] brought attention back to why it is something we enjoy being part of."

The wedding moved even the most unlikely spectator as Republican Movement chairman Lewis Holden said he watched the wedding until the very end and it was "an amazing spectacle".

"There's no reason for us to be against the wedding.

"It's a celebration, which happens in London and we wish them all the best."

But, he was glad New Zealand tax payers did not have to foot the bill for the wedding.

He said the emphasis on the wedding would have created a dip in support for New Zealand becoming a republic state, "but not fatal".

"What we know from Australia [is] the support for the monarchy has gone up, but people are saying this has put republicanism back 50 years, I think that's overstated it quite a bit, maybe five years -- who knows?"

The Republican Movement was planning on doing a poll on the impact the wedding had had on the republican movement, he said.

"My only thing was, what does this actually have to do with us?

"When you think about it, it has nothing to do with us other than we were once a British monarchy."

Prime Minster John Key said the wedding had revived the feeling for the Queen among the young of New Zealand.

"The Royal Wedding will strengthen ties between New Zealand and the UK," he said.

"The Royal Family is very important, given that the Queen is our head of state and Prince William himself has a very special connection with New Zealand.

"He's been there twice in the last 12 months and the fact that he came and visited the 29 families of the Pike River disaster and also spoke for the Queen at the Christchurch Memorial Service. I think that touched lots of New Zealanders and so I think lots of New Zealanders wish the royal couple the very best today and for the future."

Mr Key added that the couple had revived monarchist sentiment in New Zealand: "Unquestionably this continues to deepen the support for the royal family. They are going to be a very relevant young couple and they have a long future together. They're sure to be dominating the news headlines for the next decades to come.

"My feeling is that many New Zealanders support the retention of the royal family as the head of state. It's not universal and never will be but there is still an overwhelming support."

NZPA

source: newshub archive