Palace backs governor-general over tweets
BRITTANY MANN AND ANNA PEARSON
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Buckingham Palace and police are satisfied with the level of security and plan for the upcoming royal tour, a royal visit official says.
Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae earlier came under fire and was called an idiot from a former royal protection squad boss for the level of detail shared on his official Twitter account, which advised where to get the best view of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during the tour.
But the level of detail released ahead of next week's tour is exactly the same as for the Prince of Wales' visit in 2012, the tour's media manager said.
Royal visit media manager Allen Walley said at a media briefing in Christchurch this morning nothing had been released "that is not released for every royal visit at the same time in advance... going back for the last 30 years".
The public were "quite rightly" anxious to know how they could see the duke and duchess, he said.
"It's a very rare opportunity."
The palace and the New Zealand police were "comfortable" with the tour's plan and security would reflect the couple's "celebrity" status, Walley said.
"The duke and duchess get a lot more publicity than, for example, the Prince of Wales and Camilla. The crowds may be larger and a lot more emotional," he said.
Former head of the Metropolitan Police royal protection squad in London, Dai Davies, called Mateparae an "idiot" for releasing the details, which he said was a "manual" for terrorists, "nutters" and "fixated people" hoping to harm the royal family.
He told the Daily Mail: "I find it almost unbelievable someone would do this. It's a manual and it goes against anything I believe in. Appalled is the word."
And he told the Mirror: "I'm appalled at the idiocy of any idiot who would publish this far in advance both route and location."
In 2009 it emerged the Queen and Prince Philip had been victims of an assassination attempt while travelling through Australia's Great Dividing Range in 1970, he said.
There needed to be alternative routes for the royals to get to venues safely.
"It makes a mockery because historically most attacks do take place when you're going to and from a venue that's been publicised."
Mateparae is well versed in security matters.
He was Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force between 2006 and 2011 and went on to be one of the country's top spies as director of the Government Communications Security Bureau in 2011.
A spokesman for William and Catherine said the royal family knew the details had been released, and that the information was in line with other visits to New Zealand, the Daily Mail reported.
The tour starts in Wellington on Monday, and visits Blenheim, Auckland, Hamilton, Cambridge, Dunedin, Queenstown and Christchurch.