Prince interested in rural life

When the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall visit Manawatu next Thursday, November 15, crowds are expected in Manchester Square.

The royal couple will drive from Ohakea Air Force base to Feilding, arriving at Manchester Square at 12.20pm. Times are approximate.

Some rural schools are rehearsing a live welcome sign to be seen from the air as the royals fly into Ohakea, while others will be lined up on the route to Feilding.

Feilding Farmers' Market stallholders have scheduled an extra market on Thursday because of the prince's interest in locally produced food and Feilding was chosen because it was voted the Best Farmers' Market in New Zealand.

The special market will open a day early at 9am and there will be entertainment in Manchester Square from 11am to 2pm. The programme and site plan can be seen on and MDC web pages and Feilding Herald's Facebook page.

But the expected influx of international media, locals and visitors to Feilding to see the royal couple will be cleared from the market square about half an hour before the royal party are due to arrive.

"Although part of the square will be cordoned off, the public should be able to see the royal couple from behind the ropes," Feilding promotion manager Helen Worboys said.

Mrs Worboys has been working closely with the Silver Jubilee visit office.

The prince is expected to want to speak with stallholders about their produce.

He has asked that the theme of his week-long visit be ‘New Zealand' so Feilding will be displaying a typically Kiwi rural theme, with live farm animals, shearing, spinning demonstrations and children with their pet lambs and calves.

At their own request, the prince and duchess will meet some of the creators of the Right Royal Rural Mailboxes which will be on display. Entries must be at the Feilding Herald office on Monday.

Manawatu residents are also invited to write a letter about "Our Place" and post them in the mailboxes. Winning letters will be bound and later given to the royal couple in memory of their visit to the Manawatu.

They will also visit the cenotaph and invited war veterans, family members and key community volunteers will be introduced to the royal visitors.

Security around the royals is strict and those who have been invited to meet them - stallholders, organisers, dignitaries and media - have all had to receive clearance from police before being allowed within the cordon.

Parking will be at a premium as the central town will be closed to traffic from 7am to 3pm. Victoria Park, Manfeild and the railway reserve will be available for parking.

After about an hour, the prince will go to see a Manawatu farm, and the duchess to Massey University Equine Research and Wildlife centres. By 3pm they will be back at Ohakea.

Manawatu Standard