Congrats - but what do I say to the Aussies? Charles tells All Blacks
The Prince of Wales has told the Rugby World Cup winning All Blacks that his forthcoming trip to Australia poses a problem - he does not know what to tell the losing Aussies.
Charles and Camilla congratulated New Zealand's all-conquering team and their captain Richie McCaw before their victory parade through the capital Wellington.
In bright spring sunshine, thousands had gathered in the forecourt of the nation's parliament to see the squad set off on the final leg of their welcome home tour.
McCaw, who was clutching the Webb Ellis trophy, led his team out to deafening cheers after he had a brief chat to the royal visitors inside the parliament's foyer.
New Zealand became the first nation to win successive World Cup titles when they beat arch-rivals Australia in a thrilling final at Twickenham last weekend and avid rugby fan Prince Harry presented McCaw with the trophy.
With the players standing behind him, Charles was invited to say a few words and joked: "Ladies and Gentlemen, we just travelled 11,683 miles to come here to congratulate the best rugby team in the world.
"But ladies and gentlemen, what the hell am I going to say to the Aussies next week?"
Charles and Camilla are on a 12-day tour Down Under and will travel to the Canberra and other major Australia cities after their tour of New Zealand.
The royal couple chatted to McCaw and All Blacks coach Steve Hansen before their victory parade began.
The team have already visited Auckland and Christchurch on their welcome home tour around the country.
As McCaw held the trophy, he joked with Charles and said: "It's lost it's shine over the last few days."
The Duchess playfully tapped it and referring to the gold gilt cup, asked: "Is it solid?"
With his winning medal around his neck, McCaw praised Rugby World Cup hosts England telling the Prince: "It was a wonderful tournament."
The captain is widely rumoured to be retiring from the sport this year and is expected to receive a knighthood when he makes the announcement.
Before leaving on their victory parade the players posed for a group picture with Charles and Camilla and then watched as they got into flatbed trucks for their trip into the centre of the capital.