10 May 2015

A princely visit to Wellington

7:26 am on 10 May 2015

Prince Harry has arrived in New Zealand for a whirlwind week-long visit.

Prince harry; John Key and JK wife Brongh (SPELLING)

Prince Harry with John and Bronagh Key Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Photo gallery: Prince Harry arrives in Wellington.

The prince, who has been on a four-week secondment with the Australian Defence Force, began in Wellington with a motorcade drive around Evans Bay and Oriental Bay to Government House.

A modest crowd of fans turned out to see the fifth-in-line to the British throne touch down at the RNZAF airport terminal.

He was greeted by Prime Minister John Key and his wife Bronagh, along with the mayor Celia Wade-Brown.

Local school children, dignitaries and servicemen were poised ready for the 30-year-old's arrival outside Government House, with the services working through the last of their practice drills.

Govt house

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

This is Prince Harry's first visit to New Zealand, following a month-long military secondment in Australia. His New Zealand tour begins here, with a welcome from Government House Kāumatua Mr Lewis Moeau and Kuia Mrs Hiria Hape.


Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

After a haka performed by Hato Paora College, from Feilding, the prince met with the guard and talked to members of the Navy, Army and Airforce, as a 21-gun salute took place in the background.

Waching local school do the haka

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

He chatted to local children about everything from rugby to the British football team Arsenal ("Most of the royal family are Arsenal fans," he said), before promising to pass on a card for Princess Charlotte from one of the children.

For those in the capital wanting a glimpse of the red-headed prince, the best chance was 4.30pm at the National War Memorial, where throngs of fans turned out to see the Prince.

fans at Pukeahu

Photo: RNZ / Nick Butcher

Prince Harry attended a ceremony in the Hall of Memories with Mr and Mrs Key, and laid a fern on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, with its statue of a mother and two children.

Prince Harry paying tribute to the tomb on the unknown soldier.

Prince Harry pays tribute to the tomb of the unknown soldier. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Prince H bowing at the tomb of the unknown soldier.

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

After signing the visitors' book, the Prince stopped to speak with fans, who wished him a pleasant evening at the rugby and gave him a soft toy Kiwi for his new niece.

He was met at the Australian Memorial by the High Commissioner before meeting other fans on a walkabout, who invited him round for fried rice, complimented his suit, and introduced him to their puppy.

He waved fans goodbye and shook hands with Wellington mayor Celia Wade Brown, who said she would see him at the Hurricanes' match against the Sharks in Westpac Stadium.

Prince Charles, third left, and Prince Harry, centre, at Cape Helles, Gallipoli.

Prince Charles, third left, and Prince Harry, centre, at Cape Helles, Gallipoli, for Anzac Day. Photo: AFP

Sunday's trip south

On Sunday, he will head south to Invercargill for the city's first royal visit in 30 years. However, it will be brief - with just five minutes for a public meet-and-greet before he leaves for Stewart Island.

Catching a glimpse is likely to be difficult for the rest of the day. The prince will attend a private church service at the island's St Andrews Anglican Church with private plans for the evening.

On Monday, the children of Halfmoon Bay School on Stewart Island will have Prince Harry's full attention for over an hour. At 10.45am, the prince will leave the school and spend the rest of the day taking time to himself.

Christchurch is next on the list. Prince Harry will visit New Regent Street, ride the tram to Cashel Street, visit Quake City and the University of Canterbury's Student Volunteer Army.

On Wednesday, the prince will visit Odyssey House in Christchurch - before being whisked back up the North Island to Linton Military Camp in the Manawatu.

There will be limited opportunities for public viewing but the prince will be kept busy learning the haka and playing touch rugby with children from the military camp's school.

Finishing up in Whanganui and Auckland

The next stop for Harry will be Whanganui, where he is due at 9.45am on Thursday. After a powhiri at Putiki Marae, the prince will spend about half an hour on a waka on the Whanganui River. Once he has met the veterans at the War Memorial Centre in Whanganui, the public will get the chance to shake hands with the royal.

Thousands jostled for a view of Prince William and Catherine at Wellington's Civic Square.

Fans in Wellington welcome Prince Harry's brother, William, during last year's royal visit. Photo: POOL

On Friday, Prince Harry will spend most of the day away from the public's eyes in Auckland.

After Maori and Pasifika performances at Southern Cross Campus School, he will visit a spinal rehabilitation unit, the NZ Rugby Foundation and TYLA (Turn Your Life Around).

The evening will be spent at Auckland's Government House with opposition leader Andrew Little and Prime Minister John Key.

Prince Harry's last day in New Zealand - Saturday - will be spent playing football at a FIFA Under-20 event at The Cloud in Auckland. He will greet the public at the main entrance to The Cloud at 11.15am, which will be the last chance to see him.

His final spot will be High Performance Sport New Zealand's National Training Centre, before he jumps on a plane back to the UK on Saturday evening.

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