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Kiwi performers prepare for Royal celebration

Published: 7:55PM Saturday May 12, 2012 Source: ONE News

New Zealand performers will join pop superstars Susan Boyle and Rolf Harris in celebrating the Queen of England's diamond jubilee tomorrow night.

New Zealand Army Band and the Te Arawa Kapa Haka have travelled to Windsor Castle to perform in front of the Royal family as part of an international pageant marking Queen Elizabeth II's 60-year reign.

Army Band Captain Graham Hickman said they were honoured to be at the event held in the private grounds at Windsor Palace.

"It is a real honour to be here," said Hickman.

"I think it's an indication of the esteem that the New Zealand Army Band is held in Britain that we are the only military marching band invited to this event."

The band was earlier given the rare opportunity of performing at the changing of the guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace last week.

The 52 New Zealand performers hosted at the Queen's Palace also include the 20 members of the Te Arawa Kapa Haka group who have spent the last five days putting the final touches on their performance.

Te Arawa leader Trevor Maxwell said he had hand-picked the team especially for tomorrow's performance.

"To be here on her Turangawaewae, as we call it, it's just brilliant," said Maxwell.

The Queen's jubilee pageant, held across four consecutive nights, has taken more than two years to organise.