Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home News UK

Harry's cupcake treat for his fans

Published 12/05/2015

Prince Harry smiles during his tour of New Zealand
Prince Harry smiles during his tour of New Zealand

Prince Harry braved the weather to hand out cupcakes to a group of adoring girls who had waited to see him in the pouring rain.

After three days of glorious sun, day four of the Prince's trip to New Zealand saw the weather take a turn for the worse, but it did not dim the affections of the students at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch.

In 2011 the city was struck by an earthquake, killing 185 people, and his visit predominantly focused on the city's regeneration efforts.

At the university he met members of the Student Volunteer Army, a group formed to provide essential relief across the city after the disaster.

Despite the rain, hail and wind he spent time gardening with the group and took the time to hand out the cakes to a group of poncho-clad fans.

Earlier in the day he met Prime Minister John Key at New Regent Street and rode on a tram with him through the worst affected areas hit by the earthquake including the damaged Christchurch Cathedral.

The tram took them to Quake City Exhibition, which includes photos and footage of the devastation.

Waiting for him outside were hundreds of well-wishers, who he took the time to greet after taking his tour of the museum.

Moving along the crowd, 10 deep in places, he broke his normal rule of not taking selfies after 14-year-old Finlay Martin asked him.

But he told her he would only do it if he did not look at the camera.

"He said he didn't do selfies but he would do this one but not look at the camera," she said. "I was actually more excited than I thought I would be."

Pippa Judd and Archer Butterfield, both nine-months-old, sat on the security barrier for an hour waiting for the Prince.

Both started to kick their legs as he stopped to say hello and he said: "You guys look great together."

Their mothers, Hayley and Ali, said they had been practising their handwaving all day ready for when they met him.

Riley Harris, 6, a young boy with red hair had made a placard which read: "Keep Calm, Ginger is the Spice of Life."

Harry bent down to talk to him through the barriers and said to him: "Gingers rule. Don't ever let anyone hassle you about it and hang that sign up above your bed."

He was taken by surprise when among the crowd he spotted his old matron from Ludgrove School, Vicky McBratley, who is now a pre-school teacher in Christchurch.

She handed Harry a collection of photos of him and his friends, and what she described as "memories of Ludgrove".

"My goodness, I remember you," Harry said. "Long time no see."

During his time in the exhibition he saw photos and footage from the earthquake, artefacts such as the spire of Christchurch Cathedral and tributes to volunteer groups.

He walked over to an exhibit of a blue bicycle and a screen, one of those provided to residents of Christchurch after the disaster, to encourage them to get out and about and bike to outdoor cinemas.

He was eventually coaxed on to it and after laughing and testing the seat height, he began to pedal, which provided the electricity to start the video footage.

He said: "This should be what they do in the gym, if you stop pedalling, whatever you're watching should stop too. That would work."

He then watched video footage of some of the buildings in Christchurch collapsing, before meeting Julie Hutton and her daughter Nathalie, 13, who was aged nine at the time of the earthquake.

Nathalie, a student at St Margaret's School, Christchurch, which lost four buildings in the earthquake, showed Harry her tennis team badge. He said: "Finally a tennis player! I thought everyone here was into netball."

Their video of survivors' accounts included a man singing a song in Maori, to which Harry said: "He probably wants to fast forward that bit - I would - I can't stand hearing myself sing."

He asked Nathalie: "Were you at school when it happened?" She told him that she had been about to go to lunch when the quake struck.

"That must have been really frightening," he said. "What did you all do, did you know how to respond?" She told him that many of the students hid under their desks on the floor during the quake.

Harry was then shown a photograph of the Prince of Wales dancing with a student in 2012 on the "dance-o-mat" at the Re-Start Mall in Christchurch, during the Prince's visit to New Zealand.

The Prime Minister laughed and said: "Your father's got all the moves." Harry scowled and replied: "Terrible moves."

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph