TVNZ grab site for royal view
Staff at a Blenheim cafe that overlooks Seymour Square are practising their curtseys just in case the royals pop in for a latte.
Watery Mouth Cafe owner Juliet Partington plans to open the cafe early on Thursday before Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, attend a ceremony in Seymour Square at 11am.
TVNZ has already bagged a spot upstairs to film its Breakfast morning show, and all staff will be on board as the cafe gears up for hordes of people waiting for a glimpse of the royals.
"We will be packed," Partington said. "I'm imagining people will want to get a good possie."
Anyone on the top floor could look out at Seymour Square from the large windows that opened out.
"You won't be up close, but you'll get a good view," she said.
Staff discussed the royal visit at a meeting on Wednesday, including how to properly greet the couple.
Front of house staff Victoria Giles and Cornelia Weis were excited at the slim possibility of William and Catherine stopping by.
"I've been practising my curtsey with my pinny," Giles said. "But I think they'll probably be too busy to come here."
Partington wasn't a hardcore royalist, but she did follow William and Catherine, she said.
"I think Kate and Will are a beautiful couple," she said. "We're very lucky they're coming here."
From the Marlborough District Council website ....
Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman says keen interest is being expressed by people over the forthcoming royal tour which suggests some large crowds may be expected.
"I think young and old alike will be turning out to catch a glimpse, or maybe even shake the hand, of the Duke or Duchess of Cambridge."
Exact details of the route to be followed by the royal couple have not yet been made public although the Department of Internal Affairs is expected to release those details shortly before the visit. However it is anticipated that people will be gathering on either side of High Street for a view of the royal entourage arriving from Marlborough Airport. There will be no opportunity for the public to see the Royal Couple at the airport as they will not be disembarking in front of the public terminal.
The couple are scheduled to arrive at Seymour Square for a ceremony at 11.00 am to commemorate the 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War. The Duke and Duchess will lay a wreath. The ceremony will be attended by 100 invited returned servicemen and women who will be in allocated seating for the 30-minute service.
There is expected to be opportunity for the Mayor and Mayoress, Thelma Sowman, to introduce a small number of the invited guests to the Duke and Duchess.
The Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the Chief of Defence Staff will be in the official party.
Marlborough Girls' College Year 12 students Olivia Burns and Alice Schofield will sing the national anthem and the RSA Ode will be read, in Maori and in English, by Staff Sergeant Paul Whakatihi of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment reserves and Marlborough RSA Vice President Rod Shoemark.
Members of the public are encouraged to be in Seymour Square at least 45 minutes before the ceremony begins. The only reserved space will be for rest home patients where an area has been allocated for wheelchairs.
There will be no parking around Seymour Square from the evening before the event, from 6.00 pm on Wednesday 9 April, and roads will be closed to traffic from 8am on the day, reopening at 1.00 pm on Thursday, after the royal couple have left the area.
A large contingent of visiting media is expected and a platform has been set up for photographers and cameras directly to one side of the clock tower. Television New Zealand is broadcasting its morning show Breakfast live from Blenheim on the day of the visit.
After the ceremony, the Mayor and Mayoress will accompany the royal couple down from the war memorial into the square for a 30-minute walk about. A pathway will be cordoned off around the fountain and out to the south western exit to the square on the corner of High and Henry Streets.
After the ceremony, the Mayor will attend an RSA lunch at the Clubs of Marlborough while the royal couple will lunch privately before arriving at the Aviation Heritage Centre at Omaka at 1.15 pm.
Sir Peter Jackson, Aviation Heritage Trust Chairman Brian Greenall and Museum CEO Jane Orphan and Trustee Graham Orphan will accompany the royal couple through the museum and then show the couple a selection of aircraft owned by the local aviation community at Omaka.
The museum will be closed to the public on the day of the visit but a Flying Day has been organised for the public to enjoy free of charge, beginning at 10am.
There will be public parking available in the car club grounds and nearby paddocks but no roadside parking allowed along Aerodrome Road.
The Marlborough Express