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Royal birthday celebrations underway in Wellington

Published: 5:31AM Wednesday November 14, 2012 Source: ONE News

Celebrations are underway at Prince Charles'  64th birthday bash after the the guest of honour and his wife made a fashionably late entrance earlier this evening.

Prime Minister John Key, dignitaries and 64 guests who share Prince Charles' birthday are among the more than 1500 party-goers at Government House in Wellington.

Student Charlie Chittenden, one of the 64 guests chosen from a ballot, said he and Prince Charles not only shared a birthday but were both the eldest in the family.

The 18-year-old said the event was a bit "poncy".

"I wanted to wear chinos and a singlet but Mum made me wear a suit and tie.  It's a bit poncy but ah well I'm from Napier so double-brown suits me," said Chittenden.

He said his Mum, who put his name in the party ballot, is thrilled to be his plus one.

"She's got her bling on...she is getting real suited up for him."

Party-goers have already sung Happy Birthday to the Prince but he is yet to blow out the candles on his 64 birthday cakes - a series of fruit cakes designed especially for the event.

Attendees are being served a variety of New Zealand sourced produce including mussel sliders, whitebait omelettes, Merino lamb, kumara chips with onion dip, and hokey pokey ice-cream.

They will also be served Central Otago and Nelson wines along with Elderflower Fizz and apple juice.

Tour of Weta cave

Earlier today, Peter Jackson greeted the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall before their tour of Weta workshop design studio. 

The Royal couple were given a guided tour of the iconic Miramar workplace, where Oscar award winning props for films such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Avatar were designed and manufactured.

Hundreds of Wellingtonians also greeted the Duke and the Duchess of Cornwall during their walk along the Wellington waterfront.

Prince Charles was treated to several impromptu happy birthday performances, but played down the attention.

Prince Charles told guests at a cocktail event in Auckland earlier this week that he expects today's birthday party to be the highlight of his trip to New Zealand.

"I look forward very much to our joint birthday party on Wednesday along with 64 fellow Scorpios and to discussing our plans for world domination," he told the audience.

If you see the royals where you are, send your photos, videos and info to

Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae and the Prime Minister's wife, Bronagh Key also celebrate their birthdays on November 14.

Mateparae told TV ONE's Breakfast he knew he shared his birthday with Prince Charles long before arranging the event.

"It's amazing how when you ask people if their birthday is on the 14th November first thing they say is 'I share it with the Prince', and so when we found out he was going to be here during his birthday it was a fait accompli you just have to have the birthday," he said.

He said party-goers had all received some instructions on dress code and courtesies.