New Zealand first stop on the Prince’s itinerary
Prince William, second in line to the British Throne, son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana (nee Spencer) is currently in New Zealand. After flying in to Auckland, he traveled to Christchurch in the South Island where he surveyed the damage caused by the recent earthquake. He chatted with people working in the Disaster Recovery Centre and toured the shattered central business district looking at the ruins with Mayor Robert Walker.
William was greeted by politicians and disaster management specialists for a formal briefing on the recovery operation. He congratulated workers on their hard work and chatted with a fellow rescue helicopter pilot who was clearly impressed by the company.
“The scale of it is unbelievable,” the prince told journalists as he walked past crumpled buildings, flattened cars, gouged footpaths and huge piles of concrete rubble.
In television news coverage, Prince William was visible moved by what he saw in the once picturesque city. His tour included Latimer Square, where more than 100 people perished in the Canterbury Television building. He also witnessed the ruins of the city’s famous cathedral, which lost its gothic spire in the disaster.
There was also a trip to Greymouth to visit relatives of the victims of the Pike River mine disaster that occurred last November. Reports indicate that the Prince spent fifteen minutes with each of the victims’ families to offer condolences and support.
Australian cyclone and flood victims to get royal visit
Today, Friday, 18 March, there will be a memorial service at North Hagley Park in Christchurch. The Prince will speak at this important service. In addition to New Zealand dignitaries and residents, the service will also be attended by Australia’s Prime Minister (Julia Gillard), Leader of the Opposition (Tony Abbott) and Governor-General (Mrs Quentin Bryce).
On Saturday, the Prince will fly to Australia touching down in Townsville, North Queensland before traveling to cyclone ravaged towns near Tully. There will be a barbecue lunch at Cardwell, a small seaside town that bore the brunt of cyclone Yasi, and tours of nearby Tully Heads, Mission Beach.
Visits have also been organized to Toowoomba and towns in the Lockyer Valley, Queensland,. The Prince will also attend a charity cocktail party in Brisbane. This $500 a head event will raise more than $250,000 for the Queensland flood relief appeal.
Then it is on to Victoria where more flood victims will be pleased to have a visit by His Royal Highness who is no stranger to the state of Victoria. He made a special visit to areas devastated by the Black Saturday bush fires in 2009.
Prince William to marry Catherine Middleton on 29 April 2011
The royal visit is brief and rushed as Prince William is due to marry his long-time girlfriend Catherine Middleton on 29 April at Westminster Abbey. The couple seem to be organizing a modest wedding by royal standards. British royal weddings are so popular that people come from many parts of the world to get a glimpse of the happy couples.
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