Crowd goes wild for Prince Charles and Camilla
Hundreds of screaming fans filled Auckland's Queen St to meet Prince Charles and wife Camilla Duchess of Cornwall on their wet walk through the city yesterday.
Schoolgirls clutched their hearts, groups of ecstatic royalists yelled compliments to the pair and a couple of hecklers managed to get the attention of police. While two anti-monarch protesters were being warned by police, the rest of the excited crowd rejoiced at having a chance to shake royal hands.
An afternoon downpour did little to shrink the crowd or the smiles on their faces.
Nine-month-old Mia Trevitt giggled as Camilla said hello and shook her tiny hand.
Lan Park, who owns a florist in downtown Auckland, handed a huge bouquet of 64 red roses to Prince Charles as a gift for his 64th birthday on Wednesday.
"I don't want to say how much they cost," Ms Park said.
"He said they were amazing."
Waiheke Island resident Violet Hollis, 96 tomorrow, exchanged birthday wishes with the prince.
"I thought he was going to give me a kiss," Ms Hollis said.
Some people in the crowd bowed as the prince and duchess walked past.
"I'm never going to wash my hand," one man said after shaking Prince Charles' hand.
Sue Britton, who moved from England to New Zealand 11 years ago, wore the Union Jack around her shoulders.
She shrieked with excitement at having a brief conversation with the royal pair.
Mrs Britton said the duchess stopped to say hello to her dogs, fox terrier George and chihuahua Lola. "She told me they've just taken on a stray chihuahua," Mrs Britton said.
"This has been the best day."
Earlier, the royal couple watched a performance of Hairy Maclary at the Bruce Mason Theatre Centre in Takapuna.
Charles and Camilla joined hundreds of schoolchildren to watch the play, which promotes children's literacy with the Kiwi children's classic story.
The duchess has said Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy is one of her favourite books, and has chosen it as one she pledges to share with others this year.
The book's author, Dame Lynley Dodd, was among those meeting the royal couple.
They fly to Wellington tomorrow.