Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 April 2014

New Zealand welcomes royal couple

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall arrive in New Zealand at RNZAF Base Whenuapai

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have been welcomed to New Zealand with pomp and ceremony.

Charles and Camilla flew to the Commonwealth country for the final leg of their Diamond Jubilee tour that has already taken them to Australia and Papua New Guinea.

The royal couple arrived in a Royal New Zealand Air Force Boeing 757 jet from Canberra, where they had said goodbye to Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Waiting for them on the tarmac was New Zealand's leader John Key and his wife Bronagh.

When the Prince and Duchess reached the bottom of the aircraft's steps at RNZAF Base Whenuapai near Auckland, they were warmly greeted by the politician.

Nearby was a guard of honour lined up in two rows and Charles received a royal salute from the troops before reviewing them.

A busy schedule awaits the Prince and Duchess over the next six days, and highlights include Charles visiting a special effects workshop for a sneak preview of the new movie from Lord Of The Rings director Peter Jackson.

The Prince will see a snippet of the much-anticipated fantasy film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and some of the prosthetic body parts made for the blockbuster.

Charles celebrates his 64th birthday on Wednesday and will mark the occasion with Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae and Mrs Key - who were both also born on the same day.

The final day of the tour takes the royal travellers to Christchurch to see how residents have rebuilt their lives after last year's devastating earthquake.

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