Prince Charles and Camilla visit to Nelson gets go-ahead
It's official, the royals are coming to town - and they're heading to the market.
Prince Charles and Camilla will come to Nelson on Saturday, November 7 as part of their royal tour of New Zealand. The royal couple will sample the region's best food and wine, visit the Cawthron Institute and World of WearableArt and Classic Car museum in Annesbrook, and take a tour of the Nelson Market.
Nelson Market founder and manager Anita Knight was "thrilled to bits" with the announcement and said this would be the highest profile visit to the market to date.
"We've had Prime Ministers in the past and celebrity chefs, so there has been quite a range but never royalty," she said.
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She predicted Prince Charles would be interested in the range of produce the market offers.
"They've got grandchildren too, so they'll be interested in a lot of the craft products."
She said it was a great honour and a compliment to the market to host the royal couple, and nothing will stop the visit from being a success.
"[If it rains] we'll keep on going, it'll be umbrellas," she said.
Nelson MP Nick Smith said he was "absolutely rapt" that the Nelson Market was included in the visit.
"It is the most successful market in New Zealand and an icon for Nelson.
"I just think it's really good for royalty to get out and see the community as they are, and I think it's just a wonderful expression of our community."
Smith said he intended to be at his caravan in his usual spot at the market.
"I'm going to offer an appointment to the prince if he wants to discuss any constituency matters. I think he'll have other priorities."
He said he had been consulted on the programme and was delighted with what had been put together. The market, the Cawthron Institute and the WOW museum were "part of the Nelson story" and it was a privilege for the city to show them to the royal couple, and the world.
Details of the food and wine event were "still being strapped down" but it would be a function to highlight Nelson's food and wine, with key players from those industries, Smith said.
He said some of Nelson's greatest strengths were out in the Abel Tasman National Park, Golden Bay and the Nelson Lakes area but the timetable did not allow for visits there.
With the region's 100,000 people comprising 1.5 per cent of New Zealand's population, it was "a coup and a privilege" to have the couple visit, Smith said.
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will be packing the activities into the space of a few hours, with a trip to Westport scheduled later that afternoon.
The couple will visit the market together and then part ways with Prince Charles visiting the Cawthron Institute and Camilla heading to the WOW museum.
International projects manager for WOW Ali Boswijk will be helping to entertain the Duchess for around half an hour at the museum. Boswijk said they were ready to put the museum on show.
"It's fair to say that it's quite an honour really to be selected from quite a large region full of opportunities," Boswijk said.
"It's just a really good opportunity to show the world what WOW is about really, and that's something we're constantly striving to do so it gives us a great chance."
Boswijk said although it was a tight timeframe, they would be giving Camilla "a few little surprises for her involving real people".
"If we are WOW we have got to be constantly living up to that, that's something we strive to do."
Nelson mayor Rachel Reese said she was honoured to welcome "his Royal Highness Prince Charles and Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall to Nelson".
"This will be a wonderful opportunity to showcase just some of the many highlights that our beautiful region has to offer."
The royal couple, who will be in New Zealand from November 4-10, will be non-stop with cultural and conservation focused visits planned for Wellington, Dunedin, Ngaruawahia, New Plymouth, Westport and Auckland, as well as Nelson.
After their stint in New Zealand the couple will fly on to Australia.