Saturday, 26 May 2018

Royal Tourists in Rotorua 1970-

20th Century Royals

20th March 1970.While on tour in NZ with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles and Princess Anne arrived for an unofficial visit to Rotorua, a few days holiday at Moose Lodge. The Queen’s Press Secretary accompanied them and took many photographs of Prince Charles and Princess Anne, in and around Moose Lodge.  Prince Charles was whisked away by R.N.Z.A.F Iroquois, for a trip to Taupo fishing and Princess Anne mostly just relaxed at the Lodge, although she did go riding at Te Ngae.  Photographs published in the Daily Post 20/3/1970 pg. 1.

Photograph by Jack Lang, published in the Daily Post 20 March 1970.

5th February 1974. The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles stayed at the International Hotel, attended a Maori Concert at the Soundshell and they went on a walkabout at the Memorial Park (lakefront) prior to a civic welcome at the Memorial Gates.  

The lakefront was crowded with people, some just there to see the Royals; others however were there to showcase Rotorua’s attractions.  A wood-chopping event for both men and women; A display from the Rotorua Spinners Club; a shearing performance by Mr Ivan Bowen; a Rhythmic Gymnastics display by Rotorua school children; a display of Rainbow and Brown trout in a swimming pool from the Ngongotaha Trout Hatchery; patients from Queen Elizabeth Hospital waited for the Royal party to reach the hospital, and more… “Prince Charles won the hearts of many when he chatted and laughed his way through the crowds of people, young and old, at the lakefront”.  In Daily Post 7 February 1974 p.4-5.

25th February 1977.  The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh came back to Rotorua, this time without Prince Charles. On the walkabout, at the Lake front,  the couple were treated to another display of Rotorua’s finest; a Screen Printer showing off his techniques; a Greenstone Sculptor (Mr D. Salt) ; P Class Yachts with their young sailors in attendance; a Dog Obedience demonstration ; Children & Staff of the Cerebral Palsy Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital ready to meet The Queen and H.R.H (assisted by the Mayor, Ray Woolliams) planted a commemorative English Oak tree nearby in a garden especially constructed by Mr. J. Dowie. 

  A civic luncheon was arranged with a limited guest list for the couple at The International Hotel.  Chef had prepared a fruit cocktail, a choice of main, trout or lamb, a sweet course and coffee.  In Daily Post, 25th February 1977, p. 1 & 3.

6th April 1981. Prince Charles arrived in the afternoon and stayed at the International Hotel that night. He officially opened the Pulp & Paper Conference, held in a marquee on the shores of Lake Tarawera, at Kotukutuku Bay on the evening of his arrival and was invited to stay for the hangi and Maori Concert.   The next day, as he left, the royal car did a slow drive along Te Ngae Road, with a short detour through the Redwood Masonic Village on his way to the airport.

10th – 12th April 1985. The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester arrived at Rotorua Airport where Mayor Keaney and Mrs Keaney, Mr P. Tapsell (Minister of Internal Affairs) and Mrs Tapsell greeted them. The couple were to attend a Civic Lunch at the Hyatt Kingsgate, on the way the official car slowed to wave at the group of 200 children from Lynmore Primary School.  The couple stayed at the International Hotel, unfortunately on their arrival a 49 yr. old man threw toilet rolls at the car, he was arrested and moved away very quickly. 

The Duke and Duchess received a ceremonial welcome at the NZ Maori Arts & Crafts Institute, where Guide Bubbles showed them around.  The Duke was presented with a traditional carving chisel and taiaha, and the Duchess was given a kiwi feather and flax evening bag. Before leaving Whakarewarewa the Duchess was presented with flowers from Miss A. Wickliffe.

30th October 1995. The Queen and Prince Philip arrived for a three day visit to Taupo and Rotorua, their base for this visit was Huka Lodge.  Prince Philip in his capacity as patron of the WWF, along with Chris Laidlaw, visited the Mokoia Island Stitch Bird breeding programme. The party was received by a Maori welcome of over 100 elders belonging to the various sub-tribes around the Lake area, and members of the Mokoia Island Trust and students from Rotorua Lakes High School and Western Heights High School.  

The Queen and Prince Philip went on a private visit to the NZ Maori Arts & Crafts Institute and then on to Whakarewarewa. The Royal cars were then to take a slow drive to the Rotorua airport.

17th March 2007. Prince Andrew represented the Queen, at a special ceremony, at Papaiouru Marae Ohinemutu, to formally recognise Haane Maanahi for bravery at Takrouna Ridge in North Africa. A gift of a sword, from King George VI’s collection and an altar cloth for St Faiths Church, were presented. 

After this he visited the 28th Maori Battalion exhibition at Rotorua Museum, then went on to Mokoia Island where he released a Kiwi, named after his eldest daughter, Beatrice.

With thanks to the Don Stafford Collection and the Daily Post for the information.

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