PM congratulates royal couple on birth

Last updated 08:35 23/07/2013
Fairfax NZ

Prime Minister John Key says the arrival of a new royal baby is wonderful news.

SHAWL SENT: New Zealand's official gift to the royal couple is a hand-spun, hand-knitted fine lace shawl.
SHAWL SENT: New Zealand's official gift to the royal couple is a hand-spun, hand-knitted fine lace shawl.

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Prime Minister John Key has offered his congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the arrival of their baby.

''I think New Zealanders will be celebrating with the happy couple and it's great to see the birth of a future king of New Zealand so we wish them all the very best. It will be an exciting time for them."

"The birth of a child is a time of great joy and excitement, and I know they will make excellent parents."

Key also extended his congratulations to Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, and The Queen and Prince Phillip, on the arrival of the newest member of the Royal Family.

New Zealand's official gift to the royal couple is a hand-spun, hand-knitted fine lace shawl, similar to the one that New Zealand gave when Prince William was born.  

The intricate shawl was designed by Margaret Stove, who was also responsible for Prince William's shawl. Cynthia Read spun the wool and knitted the shawl.

"New Zealanders remember with fondness the visit of Prince William when he was just a toddler, playing on the lawn of Government House with a Buzzy Bee. It would be a great pleasure to welcome Prince William's son to New Zealand as well."

As well as the shawl, and with the blessing of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, an invitation was sent to knitters around the country to knit baby singlets to give to new parents at local maternity and neonatal units on the couple's behalf.

"On behalf of the people of New Zealand, I wish Prince William, Catherine and the Royal Family all the very best," Key said.

Key, who is touring the Waikato today, said the Cabinet secretary called with news of the birth shortly before the public announcement

The event would be marked by a 21 gun salute at lunch time today in Wellington, which he hoped wouldn't frighten city residents too much in the aftermath of recent earthquakes.

A motion of congratulations from Parliament would also be passed.

Labour leader David Shearer offered his congratulations to the couple.

"Whether you are royalty or not, becoming a parent is a life changing event.  It is a time of joy, excitement and sleeplessness.

"Parenthood is a huge adventure.  I wish Prince William and Catherine all the best as they get to know their baby, and adjust to life as a parent. 

"I also want to pass on my congratulations to the Queen, who will no doubt be delighted at the birth of her great-grandson, who is now third in line to the throne."

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