Key heading to Balmoral to see the Queen

04:42, Sep 09 2013

Prime Minister John Key is set to spend a weekend with Queen Elizabeth at Balmoral, it has been confirmed.

In a statement, Key said he and his family would make a private visit to the royal residence at Balmoral in Scotland later this month at the invitation of the Queen.

The visit was initially expected to take place in 2010 but cancelled because of the September 4 earthquake.

The visit will come midway through a visit to Europe and New York, where Key is expected to lobby for support for New Zealand's bid for a seat on the UN Security Council while attending the UN  General Assembly.

Syria is likely to be a key focus of the general assembly.

Key is scheduled to deliver a statement in the general debate on September 26 and attend bilateral meetings with other world leaders.

In Europe, Key will meet British Prime Minister David Cameron, Foreign Secretary William Hague and the Leader of the Opposition, Ed Milliband.

In France, he will meet President Francois Hollande, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, and Economy and Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici. 

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