I am excited that William, Catherine and George are in New Zealand.
Sorry, just though I should get that out of the way at the start.
In case you haven’t heard, Prince William – second in line to the throne – is in New Zealand with his wife, Catherine, and baby son George (who is third in line to the throne…). But someone ought to have told the weather. Unfortunately, the amazing weather that Wellington, along with most of the country, has been experiencing in the last few weeks changed suddenly to wind, fog and heavy rain. Welcome to New Zealand!
Aotearoa New Zealand has always held a special place in the hearts of the royal family. Queen Elizabeth visited in 1953-54, 1963, 1970, 1974, 1977, 1981, 1986, 1990, 1995, and 2002. Prince Charles has been here a number of times, along with visits by other members of the royal family.
So, what’s different this time? Why all the excitement and massive news coverage? From the moment their plane, a Royal Air Force New Zealand 757, touched down in Wellington there has been non-stop coverage. The outfit that Catherine chose to wear on arrival has been photographed from every possible angle, the coverage of the welcome at Government House in Wellington has been snapped by the press from all over the world, and then there’s baby George…
Maybe that’s it. George, who’s only eight months old, is on an overseas adventure that, while he won’t remember, makes that royal visit even more memorable. The baby who will one day become king is making his first visit to the country that is perhaps furthest from his birthplace in London, England.
I’m glad that, amongst all their visits and official duties, the family will get to spend some time by themselves. After all, who’d not come to New Zealand to enjoy a bit of the scenery, the countryside and some peace and quiet?
William, Catherine and George – welcome to New Zealand! Haere Mai!
Article written by Ben Egerton
Critical Thinking Challenges:
1. The visit to New Zealand from the royals would take a lot of planning and cost a lot of money. Who would pay for the visit? What would the money be spent on?
2. How important a role should the royal family, based in London in England, play in 21st Century New Zealand?
Imagine you were in charge of the royal visit to New Zealand. Where would you recommend that the family visit? Which places and attractions would you put on their ‘must visit’ list? With one of your classmates draw up a week’s programme for their visit to New Zealand. Start and finish in Wellington but come up with enough for them to do for a week. Think of how they would travel between different parts of the country and where they would stay. Use maps, a list or pictures to how how you would plan the royal visit.