Opportunity to meet Prince

When the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall visit Manawatu next Thursday, November 15, Feilding is expecting crowds in Manchester Square to greet them at lunchtime.

The Diamond Jubilee Visit Office has said all timings are approximate but the royal couple is expected to drive from Ohakea Air Force base to Feilding arriving at Manchester Square at 12.20pm.

Some rural schools are rehearsing a welcome to be seen from the air as the royals fly into Ohakea, while others hope to see them en route to Feilding.

Feilding Farmers' Market stallholders are holding an extra market on Thursday because of the prince's interest in locally produced food and Feilding's market was voted recently the Best Farmers' Market in New Zealand.

The special market will open at 9am and there will be entertainment in the Square from 11am to 2pm.

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," said Feilding promotion manager Helen Worboys.

Because of Prince Charles' interest in farmers' markets he is expected to talk to some stallholders.

He has asked that the theme of his week-long visit be ‘New Zealand' so Feilding will welcome not only Union Jacks but silver ferns or New Zealand flags to be waved.

The ‘Right Royal Rural letterboxes' competition entries will be on display in Manchester Square and the prince and duchess have asked to speak to children who are there with their entries.

They will also visit the cenotaph, meeting fallen soldiers' families, and talk to local farmers.

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 all be available for parking.

Workers in the CBD are being encouraged to walk to work on the day.

After about an hour in the town, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall will be whisked off in different directions: Prince Charles to visit a Manawatu farm, and the duchess to Massey University Equine Research and Wildlife centres.

By 3pm they will be back at Ohakea to meet Air Force personnel, then attend a reception at Government House in Wellington at 7pm.

Manawatu Standard