Confusion over royal tour Union Jack ban

AMY JACKMAN
Last updated 05:00 01/10/2012
SHOWING THE FLAG: In a photo taken two weeks ago, Feilding Promotions manager Helen Worboys gets in the mood for a right royal visit by Prince Charles and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall.
MURRAY WILSON/ Fairfax NZ

SHOWING THE FLAG: In a photo taken two weeks ago, Feilding Promotions manager Helen Worboys gets in the mood for a right royal visit by Prince Charles and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall.

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Royal protocol is causing a stir ahead of the visit by Prince Charles and Camilla to New Zealand next month.

Event organisers in towns the couple will visit received an email last week about what they can and can't do.

The email was sent by the Diamond Jubilee Visit Office, which is part of the Internal Affairs Department, and stipulated that there was to be "no use of Union Jack flags or bunting".

The prince and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, are to tour the country between November 10 and 16 as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The royal couple will visit Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Manawatu.

They will be in Feilding on November 15 and attend the award-winning farmers' market in Manchester Square before going to Ohakea.

Feilding Promotions manager Helen Worboys was sent an email reiterating the "key messages" on managing publicity, which included no remarks to be attributed to the royal visitors about why they were visiting Feilding and no mention of where they were going after they leave the rural Manawatu town.

Farmers' market stallholder Bev Driffill said they were told the Union Jack was banned as the tour organisers wanted to promote New Zealand.

"It would have been nice, but it's not a big deal really. We are just going to be displaying the New Zealand flag instead."

However, diamond jubilee office communications advisor Rebekah Clement said the ban was just a misunderstanding.

"Essentially all we are saying is he is coming to visit New Zealand, representing the Queen of New Zealand, so it's appropriate to use the New Zealand flag . . . But we have no problem if people decide to fly the Union Jack or have Union Jack bunting."

Mrs Worboys said the Internal Affairs Department had called her to clear up the confusion.

"The department are saying they would prefer us to be showing traditional Kiwi. So that's why there has been some confusion around the flag. We will be promoting rural New Zealand and our farmers' market colours which are lime green and yellow."

Prince Charles will celebrate his 64th birthday in the capital on November 14 - the same day as Governor- General Sir Jerry Mateparae celebrates his 58th.

To mark the occasion, Sir Jerry has invited 64 Kiwis aged over 18 who also share the birthday to put their names forward for a Kiwiana- themed party at Government House.

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- The Dominion Post

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