The Prince of Wales has visited New Zealand on many occasions and praised the "kind, compassionate, humorous and resilient" character of New Zealand's people. In November 2015 His Royal Highness made his ninth visit to New Zealand, joined for the second time by The Duchess of Cornwall, who visited alongside The Prince of Wales in 2012. Their Royal Highness visited New Zealand cities and towns, large and small, including Wellington, Dunedin, Nelson, Ngaruawahia, New Plymouth and Auckland. His Royal Highness also visited Westport.
During their last visit in November 2012 The Prince and The Duchess attended events and celebrations across the country as part of The Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The Prince celebrated his 64th birthday whilst in New Zealand, on 14th November in Wellington. After inviting applications from New Zealanders celebrating their birthday on the same day, the Governor General of New Zealand, Lt Gen Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae - who shares the same birthday - hosted 64 people to celebrate with Their Royal Highnesses in what was a fantastic birthday celebration for The Prince.
Their Royal Highnesses also visited Christchurch to see how the community was recovering after the earthquake in 2011. The Prince and The Duchess met a wide variety of inspirational people including severely injured Christchurch residents and their caregivers. They saw the Central Business District Red Zone and the Oxford Terrace Residential Red Zone and met with former residents of the area..
To celebrate the determination and optimism of the residents of Christchurch Their Royal Highnesses visited the Re:START Cashel Street Mall where they visited the businesses within the mall and joined in the dancing at the Dance-o-Mat.
One year on from the earthquake, The Prince sent a personal message to the people of New Zealand. In the message The Prince wrote of his sympathy for their loss and gave encouragement to those rebuilding in the Christchurch and the Canterbury area.
“My wife joins me in extending our continuing and heartfelt condolences to those whose grief may in time ease, but will never fully pass. To those who rebuild day by day, looking to the future with hope, we can only offer you our warmest encouragement and our admiration.”View Album (10 images)
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are given a traditional Maori welcome as they arrive at Turangawaewae Marae, in Waikato
The Prince of Wales celebrates his 64th birthday in New Zealand
The Prince attends Remembrance Day in New Zealand
The Prince attends Remembrance Day in New Zealand
The Duchess of Cornwall visits East Tamaki Primary School
The Prince of Wales watches an albatross at close range at the Royal Albatross Centre on the Otago Peninsula
Her Royal Highness, a keen promoter of literacy, is a fan of Lynley Dodd’s Hairy Maclary books and took part in an event with some of Hairy Maclary’s young readers. Before the visit to New Zealand, The Duchess also read the popular children's book to a group of school children at Clarence House, giving them copies of the book to take home.
Their Royal Highnesses also like to support New Zealanders living in the UK. In February 2013 The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall met finalists and past winners of ‘UK New Zealander of the Year’ awards at Clarence House, London.
In February 2015, The Duchess marked the 175th Anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and in celebration of this milestone enjoyed a dose of New Zealand hospitality at a Waitangi Day brunch. The event showcased food and drink produced by New Zealand companies, as well as being hosted at a New Zealand-owned restaurant in London.
In 2015 The Prince of Wales, accompanied by Prince Harry, attended ANZAC Commemorations on the Gallipoli Peninsula, including the Dawn Service and the New Zealand Service at Chunuk Bair. His Royal Highness praised the heroism and remembered sacrifice of those who "served and suffered… on the other side of the world to the Antipodes."
Campaign for Wool
The Prince of Wales began the Campaign for Wool to help popularise the natural fibre and thus create a more favourable economic return for beleaguered sheep farmers.
Proving a success in the UK, the campaign has resonated in New Zealand with major industry representatives supporting the campaign. The Campaign is multi-national, multi-sector and embraces all sections of wool users from the very largest companies to specialist artisans. During his visit to Auckland in 2012, The Prince of Wales attended the New Zealand Shear Brilliance event in The Cloud where he met representatives of the Wool Sector.
The Campaign for Wool in New Zealand is supported and delivered by the National Council of New Zealand Wool Interests Inc – a 25 year old association that is the New Zealand member body of the International Wool and Textile Organisation. The Campaign for Wool in New Zealand was officially launched at the first “Shear Brilliance” event held in Wellington in June 2011.
Royal Visit New Zealand: Day Five
Diamond Jubilee Tour: Remembrance Sunday in New Zealand
The Prince and The Duchess visit Feilding, New Zealand
New Zealand: Arrival at Government House, Wellington
- The Prince of Wales first visited in 1970.
- The Prince of Wales is Admiral of the Fleet of the Royal New Zealand Navy; Field Marshal of the New Zealand Army and Marshal of the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
- The Duchess of Cornwall, who is an avid reader and strong supporter of literacy, presented the prestigious Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2013 to New Zealander Eleanor Catton. Catton, whose novel The Luminaries was the longest book to win the prize to date, was also the youngest person to ever be awarded the Man Booker Prize.
- The Prince of Wales is patron of several New Zealand charities, including the New Zealand Coastguard and the Southern Seabird Solutions Trust. You can read more about HRH's patronages here.
- In September 2008, The Prince and The Duchess met Corporal Willie Apiata, New Zealand's first Victoria Cross recipient since the Second World War. The soldier, who is a member of the New Zealand SAS force, carried a wounded comrade across a battlefield while under fire in Afghanistan in 2004.