Dr Noel Cox, the Chairman of The Monarchist League of New Zealand Inc issued a Press Release on 17th May 2005 about the visit of Prince William to New Zealand in early July. He was invited by British and Irish Lions Head Coach Sir Clive Woodward to join the team for the second and third tests against the All Blacks, on 2nd and 9th July. Prince William is also expected to attend a Lions training camp.
He is expected to represent HM The Queen at ceremonies in Wellington and Auckland to commemorate the end of the Second World War. Although details have not been finalised yet, he is expected to visit a school, and undertake other duties while in the country. This visit includes the Prince’s first solo official engagement, and the first occasion upon which he represented HM The Queen.
Prince William is currently studying for his final examinations at the University of St Andrews, and is due to graduate in June. According to AFP, which we received from the Melbourne based Monarchist Alliance, the Prince will represent The Queen in Wellington and Auckland at wreath-laying and memorial services marking the end of World War II.
The prince, who will be accompanied on the trip by his new private secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, has done very few official engagements so far. He previously visited a homeless charity day centre with his father Prince Charles in the run-up to his 21st birthday and also carried out engagements in Scotland before starting university.
He will also spend time with the rugby team as they train, before watching their second and third test matches against the All Blacks. Royal aides said he was invited to support the British Lions by the team’s coach, Clive Woodward. Paddy Harverson, a royal family spokesman, said:
"William is a big fan of rugby and is really looking forward to going to New Zealand. He’s proud to be representing the queen at events to mark the end of the Second World War."
His first trip to New Zealand came when he was just nine months old, on a six-week tour of the country and Australia with his father Charles and his mother, the late Princess Diana. William, who intends to join the army and plans on training at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst like his younger brother Harry, spoke last year about the prospect of taking on more royal engagements.
" Depending on which course I take after university it is unlikely that I will suddenly jump into public duties just like that.Naturally I am a bit wary of them because I do not want to start too early and then be stuck in doing that for the rest of my life."
With the visits of The Queen and members of the Royal Family for the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne not that long after, it seems we may be coming to the welcome end of the period when Royal Visits were few and far between. The media will of course be unable to resist Prince William, which will no doubt cause great angst among many republicans who naively expect the media to maintain their republican campaign at all times.
At the same time of course the usual republicans will be lining up to try to monopolise every moment of our guests attention. One thing will be clear-expect neither the media nor the republican movement to behave rationally.
In the meantime, The Queen is in Canada. The Canadian Monarchist lLague has a superb site from which you can follow the homecoming of Her Majesty:http://members.boardhost.com/monarchist/
A photo gallery of the visit has been established by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, something which our ABC could well emulate when Her majesty comes to Australia. The site is at: http://www.cbc.ca/news/photogalleries/royal_0518/index.html.
In addition, CBC Online journalist Kevin O’Connor is following the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh throughout their Saskatchewan travels May 17-20. Armed with a camera-phone and a Blackberry, Mr. O’Connor is filing regular "you-are-there" reports from the legislature, the synchrotron, the Centennial Gala and points in between. Full details on the entire royal visit are on the official Canadian Heritage website for the 2005 royal visit :
Again, we hope the Australian authorities can follow this excellent Canadian initiative.