Speculation King Charles could visit NZ on first royal tour

Kiwi royalists could be in for a treat if the latest speculation of a visit from King Charles III proves correct.

A report from The Times says a royal insider has New Zealand on the list of destinations for his first royal tour.

The Times’ source said there were “likely to be a couple of big and important diplomatic overseas visits”, and while there were suggestions of a visit to the United States or France, they believed “the smart money is on a trip for the King to Australia and New Zealand”.

Appleby resident Bridget Aitken said if King Charles III came to New Zealand she would feel “very pleased”, especially if Nelson made it onto the royal itinerary.

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had a 10-minute audience with the King Charles III when she went to England, but new speculation suggests it may soon be her turn to play host to the king.

Ian Jones Photography

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had a 10-minute audience with the King Charles III when she went to England, but new speculation suggests it may soon be her turn to play host to the king.

She said she wouldn’t go out of her way to see him, but she would feel appreciated and seen by the monarchy if the new king visited.

“It’s nice to know we matter.”

Hardcore royalist Sandra Hardcastle, 82, has vivid memories of when Queen Elizabeth II visited Nelson in 1986, and said she hoped the visit would happen.

“I would love it if he came, I think he will make a wonderful king,” she said. “I would definitely go to see him – as long as he does it soon.”

Nelson Mayor Peter Malone greeting Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip on Queen Elizabeth Drive on their visit to Nelson 1986. Sandra Hardcastle remembers the visit well.

Stuff

Nelson Mayor Peter Malone greeting Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip on Queen Elizabeth Drive on their visit to Nelson 1986. Sandra Hardcastle remembers the visit well.

However, she thought his priorities might lie elsewhere.

“He’s got a lot on his plate,” she said. “I wish him luck.”

“I think he will visit a lot of the trouble spots first, but I think he’ll do virtually a world tour as soon as possible. He’s a great defender of the Commonwealth.”

Hardcastle grew up in England and so felt a deep connection to the royal family, and in particular to Queen Elizabeth II who she said she looked up to as a maternal figure in her life.

“When you grow up in England and see them in the papers all the time, you become part of their lives in a way,” she said.

“I cut everything out of the newspapers about her. To me it was like part of my family.”

Sources close to the royal family say “smart money” is on King Charles visiting New Zealand and Australia in his first tour as monarch.

Yui Mok/AP

Sources close to the royal family say “smart money” is on King Charles visiting New Zealand and Australia in his first tour as monarch.

Hardcastle’s impressions of the King so far were also positive – “if he was my son I’d be very proud of him”.

“I think he will do a good job and I think he will be like his mother.”

She also admired Camilla, Queen Consort, who she said had great integrity.

She said she would be front and centre if the royals visited Nelson again.

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