5 Jun 2022

Kiwis on show in 'once-in-a-generation' jubilee pageant

From Sunday Morning, 5:13 pm on 5 June 2022

A 42-strong New Zealand Defence Force contingent will be part of the Platinum Jubilee Pageant honouring Queen Elizabeth II overnight.

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The Platinum Jubilee Pageant which marks the Queen's 70 years of service is estimated to draw in a crowd of 1 million spectators and a television audience of 1 billion.

The New Zealand contingent, drawn from the three Services, will be New Zealand's contribution to what the British government is promising as a "once-in-a-generation" show, centred on Buckingham Palace and its surrounding areas.

Contingent commander Kerry Tutty is in London and said it felt surreal.

"Her Majesty is the head of our armed forces and while we honour her in many many ways such as royal toasts or our pledges of allegiance and we have photos of course all through camps and bases - tomorrow we get to show her our respect in person.

"Excitement's one description, I also think there's a sense of pride and an immense humility for the service to us from Her Majesty."

Aotearoa armed forces would also have a taua or warrior element at the fore with army and navy personnel not just representing their service but also their tūpuna, hapū and iwi, Tutty said.

It would be a unique point of difference for New Zealand, she said.

"Maori taua or a warrior element, it's a symbolic garb for the New Zealand Defence Force contingent and what you'll notice is the movement's reminiscent of a scouting party moving through New Zealand forest or through the bush land."

The party would carefully place their feet so as not to disturb the undergrowth giving a sense that they were looking ahead for danger, she said.

The march is about 3.2km which takes about 40 minutes and Tutty outlined the route they would take.

"We make our way along Parliament Square and we head down Parliament Street past the Cenotaph towards Trafalgar Square, at that point we turn left into Buckingham Palace and we go through Admiralty Arch and The Mall towards Buckingham Palace.

"When we reach Victoria Memorial we veer slightly right and then we give Her Majesty a salute and then head around Victoria Memorial."

New Zealand has a long history of attending royal jubilees, Tutty said, with this country attending Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897.

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