Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are in New Zealand for six days as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. For the Auckland part of the visit I accompanied Charles and Camilla to various engagements photographing the event as one of the accredited media, supplying pictures to local and international publications and agencies. Whilst visiting the New Zealand Shear Brilliance event at The Cloud, following a walkabout in the rain along Queen Street, Prince Charles tried his hand at carpet making using a “tufting gun” with the help of Sam Maloney, 30, from Christchurch who is creating a rug representing Charles’s coat of arms. He was handed the tufting machine that resembled an electric drill, and set about the half-completed coat-of-arms rug that was hung from a large frame. Just outside the border of the piece Charles tried sowing tufts of wool into a thread mesh. He said ‘I’ll write my name’, but his first attempt left a tangled mass of wool but after a short practice he wove a couple of straight lines.
One of the advantages of being a part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee accredited media, is that I had the opportunity to meet privately with the Prince and Duchess at the Auckland Museum following the Armistice Day Service and had a short discussion with both of them. Royal Protocol prevents me from reporting what was said, but it was an enjoyable experience, which I shall remember. So, whilst I now have a break from my royal duties, the tour continues with visits to Wellington, Palmerston North Feilding and Christchurch.