Feilding aflutter ahead of royal visit

I SEE YOU: Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will be visiting New Zealand as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
I SEE YOU: Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will be visiting New Zealand as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, touch down in New Zealand tonight and Feilding is primed to dish out the royal treatment.

The royal couple have been in Australia this week, including a stopoff at the Melbourne Cup.

As part of the celebration of the the Queen's 60 years on the throne, the couple will be visiting Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and then Feilding on November 15.

The town's award-winning Farmers' Market has been moved forward a day to accommodate the royal tour schedule but that has not dampened the enthusiasm of the stall holders.

"We will definitely be here and we are really looking forward to it," said vegetable grower and seller Phil Wycherley.

Mr Wycherley has been a stallholder at the market since its inception eight years ago. He said it would be business as usual but he expected to have a bigger crowd than normal because of the royal drawcard.

British expat John Earney is a newcomer to the market but said his rare breeds comrades will be keen to meet the Prince of Wales because he was patron of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.

The stall wouldn't be selling anything particularly special on the day. "It's all special anyway."

Beth Legg, owner of Beth's Baking, said she would be hard at work in the kitchen making sure everything was perfect in case the couple stopped for a taste test.

She was looking forward to the chance of meeting the prince and said she thought business would be good with the extra people around on the day.

Other businesses in town are intending to make the most of the famous visitors and Poppies book store staff will dress up their window display with some famous faces the prince and duchess may recognise.

Retail assistant Tania Gunn said there would be lots of books about the royals and London and also a painting of Feilding to link the two together.

Customers were very excited, she said. "It's a once in a lifetime opportunity. There's going to be lots happening around town and lots of people are gearing up for it."

The royal couple will also meet invited farmers and agribusiness leaders in the town, as the grass quadrant next to Manchester Square is turned into a mini wool production centre. Sheep will be shorn, the wool spun and then knitted into garments to showcase the town's rural background.

Local children will get to parade their pet lambs and calves and chef Hester Guy will be cooking and using stallholder produce.

Live entertainment under the clock tower will run from 11.30am and on display will be winning entries from the Right Royal "Rural" Mailbox competition.

The couple will also get to meet local volunteers and will visit the Feilding war memorial before leaving to go on to separate appointments.

Manawatu Standard