Nelson rolls out the red carpet for royal visitors
Prince Charles meets "Camilla" the scampi at Nelson's Cawthron Institute
Donning a freshly dry-cleaned lab coat the Prince of Wales delved into the world of algae and invertebrates as he explored sustainable seafood at Nelson's Cawthron Institute.
Prince Charles looked through microscopes at energetic algae, chuckled at the aptly named mutli-coloured algae disco, saw baby snapper and heard all about how Cawthron and research company Plant and Food Research are working towards making the seafood industry sustainable and clean with the ever-increasing population.
A "first in the world" achievement for the institute was unveiled to the Prince in the form of the first female scampi bred in captivity in New Zealand. In honour of the royal visit Cawthron has named her Camilla, which was met by laughter.
Prince Charles was shown Camilla the scampi through a video link and when he asked how large she would grow, staff told him she would get to be about 120 grams. He was invited back to see her in her later life.
The Prince also took an interest in the two-day old mussels buzzing about under a microscope and their fully grown counterparts sitting on display nearby.
He asked a number of questions about their growth, diet and life outside the lab, and finally whether they are eaten raw.
Scientist Serean Adams responded they were best steamed - "with a bit of wine", she added laughing.
During the Prince's scientific jaunt, 92-year-old Jaqui Botting sat patiently in her walker waiting outside her rest home - across the road from Cawthron - with a Christmas card in hand.
Although she couldn't remember the year or many of the details around when it was given, the name Charles was clear in the signature.
Botting had been a nurse in Clarence House and had kept the Christmas card from the Prince and his parents as a treasure.
Prince Charles reminisced with Botting on his way out of the institute, and his words left her almost speechless.
"He remembered me didn't he?" she said
"It was very nice."
Camilla steps out in style at the World of WearableArt Museum
The Duchess of Cornwall arrived at Nelson's World of WearableArt (WOW) Museum to be welcomed by creator and founder Dame Suzie Moncrieff, international projects manager Ali Boswijk and competition director Heather Palmer.
She was presented with a bouquet of flowers by Suzie's seven-year-old granddaughter Daisy Moncrieff, who wore a floral outfit chosen by her mum, before being escorted through the museum by Suzie, who explained the stories behind some of the garments, including some on live models.
Daisy said later, "It was very exciting. She looked very pretty."
Camilla also met Wellington model Sophie Pentley, who was wearing the "Baroque Living Room" artwork featuring a lampshade headdress. There was light banter between them as,Camilla asked, "Are you hot in that?" Sophie replied, "It's ok." Camilla added, "I guess you're in the shade."
Of her outfit, Sophie says, "It's more comfortable than it looks. It's mostly velvet, braid, tassels, fringing and a little bit of wire. It's inspired by the Victorian era, when the parlour was the main room." On her royal encounter, she adds,"It was pretty special."
Soon after entering, Camilla admired Gillian Saunders' creation "One for Sorrow", which the artist described as "a military-style magpie funeral".
Suzie guided the duchess around the exhibits, including a moving display of "Bizarre Bras", which captured her interest. She stayed longer in the room than planned. "She hadn't seen enough so she decided to have another look around," says Sophie.
In the room, she also met Wellington model Lucy Aitcheson, who was wearing the "Frockatoo", a dress made of feathers of a cockatoo.
Lucy says, "She liked the birds. She's very beautiful."
Camilla was also captivated by a self-lit highland pipe band costume.
"She loved the technical side of it and she found the Frockatoo amusing," Suzie says.
"She had a giggle and said it was well made. She really enjoyed herself. I found her really lovely, genuine and down-to-earth. She was really interested in the garments she viewed and he materials used. She said she'd never seen anything quite like this."
Posing outside with the models, Camilla joked, "I feel like I need to wear a pair of heels."
WOW is an annual competition for artwork that can be worn on the body, which began in 1987 as a promotion for a rural art gallery.
The museum displays winners from past competitions and entrants from the most recent show. Hundreds of entries, many of them inspired by the flora, fauna and cultures of the South Pacific, arrive in Nelson every autumn for the show-selection process.
Before Camilla arrived, Suzie said, "It's a real thrill to have the duchess coming to visit the WOW Museum to see the artworks up close and view the fine craftsmanship. She's a patron of the arts and obviously has a real interest in it."
Royals sample local delights at Nelson Market
Like many Nelsonians before them, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, have strolled through the Saturday Market in Nelson.
They encountered merino, chocolate and a curious smelling black garlic paste as they walked by the stalls.
"He smelt the garlic and said he didn't like the black," said stall holder Ralph Butcher of Karamaya Black Garlic.
After greeting those who lined Trafalgar St the royal couple then hit the Nelson Market where they were treated to a range of the region's best products.
Pic Picot of Pic's Peanut Butter was rapt that Prince Charles took a jar of peanut butter with him.
"He took the jar, gave it a smell and a look of bliss came over his face," said Picot.
Another stall holder Lorraine Keeling from Nelson Merino gifted Camilla a rug made from possum fur, merino and silk.
"It was absolutely wonderful to give her," she said.
The stall holders also enjoyed engaging in some friendly banter with the royal couple.
Cranky Goat stall holder Hannah Lamb found common ground with the future king. Prince Charles had worked with her father in the military.
"He sent his regards to him. It was a huge honour to see him," she said.
Nelson Market founder Nita Knight walked through the market with the royal couple.
Her granddaughter Yazmin Knight presented flowers to Prince Charles when the couple eventually exited.
"It's an absolute honour, it was an amazing thing for the royals to come to the Nelson market where we have a family legacy," said Yazmin.
The royal couple arrived at the Cathedral steps in Nelson at 11.15 where they were greeted by Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese and iwi representatives.
They then walked down Trafalagar St to meet and greet hundreds of Nelsonians who had lined the street to meet them, including a corgi dog appropriately named George.
"He got to lick the Prince's hand," said George's owner Hannah Petley.
"Prince Charles asked if he was a friendly corgi and I said yes he is."
Charles and Camilla arrive in Nelson
It's not every day that a royal couple takes a stroll around the streets of Nelson so it was fitting to see the city turn out in force to welcome our high-profile guests.
Hundreds of royal watchers lined Trafalgar and Hardy streets, Nelson Market was humming and the sun came out to play for the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall's four-hour trip to the region.
Many were left shaking with excitement in their path as the couple moved through the crowd.
"I told him I'm his biggest fan, it was brilliant- this is the best day ever," said Tapawera woman Sandy Rogan who had risen at 6am to secure a spot near the front of the crowd.
Nelsonians offered up a multitude of gifts for the royal couple. Some came with flowers, while others brought their own creations.
Eight-year-old Ruthie Vaughan had woken early to draw a picture for Prince Charles featuring crown jewels. She had made it her goal for a week to ensure the Prince received it safely - and he did.
"He told me it's very good," she said.
Another spectator Louise Hodgson brought along her two-year-old daughter Phoebe, who suffers from a form of arthritis. Hodgson came especially to meet Camilla who was an ambassador for Arthritis Research UK.
"She asked how Phoebe was doing and how she was managing," she said.
Nelson woman Jane Leaning, who described herself as a "real royalist" got up bright and early to see the royal couple.
"I have a china cabinet full of royal memorabilia," she said.
"I've collected these over the years, I've talked to Kate [Middleton] in Blenheim before," she said.
She was hoping to chat to the royal couple as they walked down Nelson's main street.
Prince Charles and Camilla are in Nelson as part of their six-day tour of the country.
Although the All Blacks have largely overshadowed their presence in other centres they have been more than happy to join in the country's patriotic rugby cheer, and if six-year-old Ryder Anderson has his way the prince won't get a day off from the banter.
"I'll ask him what it was like to meet Richie McCaw," Ryder said as he waved a New Zealand flag alongside his sister Lauren, 7, and friend Ruairidh Cliffin, 7.
Lauren's one question for the Prince of Wales would be what it was like to be a prince.
Ryder and Lauren's mother Sue Greatrex moved to New Zealand before her children were born and said she has brought them up knowing her heritage and respecting the royal family.
"They have a sense of how to behave and what's appropriate with the royal family.
"Last night they were role playing, so there was King Bob," she laughed.
Two hours ahead of the royal arrival Sandy Rogan, who had a seat at the ready, was trying to decide which side of Trafalgar St she would have the best chance of speaking to Prince Charles.
"I hope he's on this side, I'd tell him I'm his biggest fan," she said.
Rogan had travelled with her two friends from Tapawera to see the royal couple in Nelson. "My alarm went off at six," she said.
Rogan had dined at an event with Prince Charles in 1978 while she was in Berlin.
"It was just wow - he might recognise me today," she said.
The couple arrived at the Church Steps just after 11 this morning and were welcomed with a kapa haka performance from local iwi, and by Nelson mayor Rachel Reese, Nelson MP Nick Smith and the Bishop of Nelson.
They then walked down Trafalgar and Hardy streets chatting to the throngs of photo-taking, flag waving onlookers.
Mahana grows mainly pinot noir, with some pinot gris, Riesling and chardonnay grapesand achieved full organic certification in 2011.
Prince Charles appeared to enjoy a lengthy chat with winemaker Michael Glover as the Royal party, escorted by Mr Schaeffer and his fiancee Chandler Parker, descended the winery's multiple levels to the food and wine event in the lower cellar.
Judy Finn of nearby Neudorf Vineyards, had a long chat with Camillawho is President of the United Kingdom Vineyards Association.
Mrs Finn said she congratulated the Duchess on the increasing strength of English wines.
"They've just won a taste-off between the French - between Champagne and English sparkling wine, which they won. It's a real mark for the future of English wine. They're very, very good."
Mrs Finn said the Duchess was easy to talk to, and Nelson had shown itself off in top form.
The Source to Serve Nelson-Tasman food and wine event in the Mahana Winery cellar was also a celebration of the region's high quality seafood and cheese products, which were set up at various stations.
New Zealand King Salmon board member Paul Steere said it was a "brilliant day".
He said Prince Charles, as president of the Salmon Anglers' Association, was particularly interested in New Zealand salmon farming operations, which were different to those in Scotland.
Minister for the Environment and Minister for Building and Housing Nick Smith said he and Prince Charles discussed matters around conservation and housing.
"He recognised we had challenges in the area of housing and shared some of the Living Communities work that his own trust has been doing, and I'm very keen to follow up on some of the challenge of how do you build intense urban communities that actually work, and he's a big fan of that.
"I also acknowledged that Prince Charles has shown a lot of leadership in the area of challenging countries to do better around marine conservation."
Dr Smith said Prince Charles acknowledged the need for countries to work harder at doing a better job of high seas management.
Prince Charles was then whisked away for a flight to Westport while Camilla returned Wellington for several engagements.