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Prince Charles remembers veterans on first day of tour

Published: 6:55AM Sunday November 11, 2012 Source: ONE News

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are resting up tonight after their first full day in New Zealand as part of their royal tour.

The couple received a Maori greeting this morning at Auckland's War Memorial Museum, where Charles gave a short speech in Te Reo before the pair attended a ceremony to mark the 95th anniversary of Armistice Day.

Prince Charles, who is Air Commodore and Commander in Chief of the Royal New Zealand Air Force, was wearing dress uniform, while Camilla was wearing a black skirt, jacket and hat.

The Prince lay a wreath on behalf of the Queen during the service and met with Auckland RSA President Graham Gibson and a group of veterans from the 24 Battalion afterwards.

The pair then met with a group of veterans following an Armistice Day commemoration at Auckland museum today.

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Auckland War Memorial Museum director Roy Clare said it was a privilege the service was held in the presence of the Royals.

"Together, led by the Prime Minister and the Mayor, we remembered in gratitude all who have made the ultimate sacrifice, and especially those 4000 Aucklanders who gave their lives in World War 2."

The Royal couple arrived in New Zealand last night 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.

Their 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 Wellington, Christchurch and Feilding are also planned during their six-day visit.

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 1000 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.