One of my aunts has a photo of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. The photo was taken at Wanganui Airport in 1983 during her Royal Tour with Princes Charles and baby Prince William. I used to look at the photo as I was growing up and think ‘wow, the Prince and Princess went to Wanganui’. While in Wanganui they visited Prince Edward who was a house tutor at Wanganui Collegiate which I thought was pretty wow too.
Thirty one years later Prince William has returned to New Zealand with his beautiful wife and son. When I read that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would be visiting their namesake, the small Waikato town of Cambridge, I knew it was my chance to capture a wow moment of my own.
I was suitably wowed and excited, the crowd cheered as the Duke and Duchess arrived and chants of “William, William” broke out at one point proving that royalty can be treated like rock stars.
Princess Diana would be so proud of her son and daughter-in-law, they have made special memories for so many people in New Zealand, ourselves included. The royal couple will be making special memories today too as they experience a thrilling Shotover Jet boat ride. If the rock star adrenalin didn’t kick in yesterday in Cambridge it will today in Queenstown.
The flag below was hanging in a window in Cambridge and is an original from the 1953-54 Royal Tour. It was the first time a reigning monarch had visited New Zealand. If I knew the Queen and Prince Phillip had attended 110 functions and visited 46 towns or cities during their 40 day tour I may not have been so surprised that the Prince and Princess of Wales went to Wanganui. (If you’re curious, details of the 40 day tour are here).
Did you know there’s a Royal Kiwi connection? Tane Mahuta Lewis, the son of Gary Lewis originally from Gisborne, is currently 28th in line to the British Throne. Tane Mahuta’s mother is Lady Davina Lewis (nee Windsor).