Birthday wishes come early to royal

20:53, Nov 11 2012
Prince Charles with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key shake hands with Kiwi veterans from the British Airborne Forces during the Armistice Day commemorations held outside the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Prince Charles with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key shake hands with Kiwi veterans from the British Airborne Forces during the Armistice Day commemorations held outside the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, with NZ Prime Minister John Key and his wife Bronagh (left) brave the breeze during the Armistice Day commemorations outside the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, with NZ Prime Minister John Key and his wife Bronagh (left) brave the breeze during the Armistice Day commemorations outside the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, with NZ Prime Minister John Key and his wife Bronagh (left) brave the breeze during the Armistice Day commemorations outside the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, with NZ Prime Minister John Key and his wife Bronagh (left) brave the breeze during the Armistice Day commemorations outside the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, brave the breeze during the Armistice Day commemorations outside the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, brave the breeze during the Armistice Day commemorations outside the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Prince Charles enjoys a moment with a Kiwi veteran from the British Airborne Forces during the Armistice Day commemorations outside the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Prince Charles enjoys a moment with a Kiwi veteran from the British Airborne Forces during the Armistice Day commemorations outside the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Royal fan "Major Blunder" turned out in his full finery to see Prince Charles and Camilla during the Armistice Day commemorations outside the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Royal fan "Major Blunder" turned out in his full finery to see Prince Charles and Camilla during the Armistice Day commemorations outside the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Royal fans during the Armistice Day commemorations outside the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Royal fans during the Armistice Day commemorations outside the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Prince Charles lays a wreath at the foot of the cenotaph during the Armistice Day commemorations outside the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Prince Charles lays a wreath at the foot of the cenotaph during the Armistice Day commemorations outside the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Prince Charles meets members of the public after the Armistice Day commemoration service held outside the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Prince Charles meets members of the public after the Armistice Day commemoration service held outside the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, meets members of the public after the Armistice Day commemoration service outside the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, meets members of the public after the Armistice Day commemoration service outside the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Prince Charles shakes hands with members of the public after the Armistice Day commemoration service held outside the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Prince Charles shakes hands with members of the public after the Armistice Day commemoration service held outside the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Charles and Camilla in NZ
Prince Charles and Mayor Len Brown at the Bruce Mason Centre.
Charles and Camilla in NZ
The Duchess of Cornwall with children of the Lake View Private Kindergarten at the Bruce Mason Centre.
Charles and Camilla in NZ
A mobile billboard from a protest group following the Prince and Duchess.
Charles and Camilla in NZ
The royal party scurry across a wharf in the rain.
Charles and Camilla in NZ
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall arrive at the AUT Millenium Institute in Mairangi Bay on Auckland's North Shore earlier this morning.
Charles and Camilla in NZ
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall arrive at the AUT Millenium Institute in Mairangi Bay on Auckland's North Shore earlier this morning.
Charles and Camilla in NZ
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall arrive at the AUT Millenium Institute in Mairangi Bay on Auckland's North Shore earlier this morning.
Charles and Camilla in NZ
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall arrive at the AUT Millenium Institute in Mairangi Bay on Auckland's North Shore earlier this morning.
Charles and Camilla in NZ
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall arrive at the AUT Millenium Institute in Mairangi Bay on Auckland's North Shore earlier this morning.
Charles and Camilla in NZ
Prince Charles arrives at the naval base in Stanley Bay before heading across the Waitemata harbour in a coast guard vessel.
Charles and Camilla in NZ
Prince Charles arrives at the naval base in Stanley Bay before heading across the Waitemata harbour in a coast guard vessel.
Charles and Camilla in NZ
Prince Charles arrives at the naval base in Stanley Bay before heading across the Waitemata harbour in a coast guard vessel.
Charles and Camilla in NZ
Prince Charles pays a visit to the northern communications coast guard centre at Mechanics Bay, meeting and greeting volunteers from across the north island.

Former paratrooper Ron Cossins, 90, made the most of giving Prince Charles an early birthday greeting.

"He asked me how old I was," Cossins said after their meeting at an Armistice Day ceremony in Auckland yesterday.

"I said I used to serve with your father, you know, then I wished him a happy birthday for the 14th. He said thank you for remembering. He seemed quite chuffed."

Cossins served in the Fifth (Scottish) Parachute Battalion during World War II, and was in the Mediterranean at the same time as Prince Charles' father, the Duke of Edinburgh, who was in the Royal Navy.

"We're six months apart in age," he said. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, at left, were attending the first major event of the New Zealand leg of their Pacific tour for the Queen's diamond jubilee year.

Paremata resident Frank Clark, another airborne serviceman in the British Army from 1956, said it was great to meet his first royal.

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"I found it very moving. It was a very good day."

The prince asked him when and where he had served and was "a bit taken aback" when Clark told him he had completed his training more than 50 years ago.


They will spend today in Auckland, and fly to Wellington on Wednesday.


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