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Prince Charles and Camilla arrive in New Zealand

Published: 12:19PM Saturday November 10, 2012 Source: ONE News

The heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall, have arrived in New Zealand on the final leg of their tour of the Pacific.

They were greeted by Prime Minister John Key and inspected a military guard of honour after arriving at Whenuapai air base in Auckland.

The Royal visit is part of the Queen's Jubilee year celebrations. The Royal couple were in Papua New Guinea and Australia before arriving here.

Visits to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Feilding planned during their six-day visit.

If you see the Royals where you are, send your photos, videos and info to news@tvnz.co.nz

Prince Charles will celebrate his 64th birthday in Wellington, where he will be joined by 64 New Zealanders who also share his birthday.

He will also continue his support for those affected by the Christchurch earthquakes with a visit to the central city, where he will lay a time capsule at the Diamond Jubilee clocktower which was damaged last year.

A ONE News/Colmar Brunton poll published just before the visit showed no sign of wavering in New Zealand's loyalty to the monarchy.

While Prince Charles and Camilla's visit is causing some to question whether it is time for New Zealand to become a republic, the poll indicates that 70% of New Zealanders want to keep the Queen as head of state.

Only 19% of the 1,000 polled supported New Zealand becoming a republic, while 7% were unsure.

The poll shows New Zealanders are less enthused with becoming a republic than they were in 2008 when 25% voted in favour of becoming a republic. 

New Zealand Republic chair Lewis Holden wants to see New Zealand drop the Royal Family as they say the monarchy is based on hereditary privilege not democracy.

"You don't get a say under monarchy.  A republic is about New Zealanders being able to choose who their head of state is."

They say New Zealand could still be part of the Commonwealth, honour the Treaty of Waitangi, and keep its flag and national anthem.

However, Prime Minister John Key told ONE News he would "absolutely vote to retain the monarchy".

'Love of his life'

This is the seventh time the Prince of Wales has come to New Zealand.

The Prince has had mixed reactions to his visits in the past, from rock concert-like fever after his wedding to Diana in 1983, to protests in 2005.

Woman's Day Editor Sido Kitchin said Prince Charles fell out of favour with the public when he separated from Diana in 1992 and embarked on a relationship with the now Duchess of Cornwall.

"I think it's been a very slow time for Charles to come back into our hearts.  I think for a long time Camilla was the other woman - the third person in the marriage of Charles and Diana - but the public has come to accept that Camilla is the great love of his life," said Kitchin. 

 

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