Arrowtown pupils may get to meet royals

16:00, Apr 04 2014
royal
ROYAL EXCITEMENT: Teacher Janey Winders with lucky Arrowtown Primary School pupils Ben Kunath, back left, Annabelle Jones, Kate Edmonds, Sam Clark, front left, and Emily Johnston will have front-row seats when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge take the Shotover Jet boat ride next week.

Students from Arrowtown Primary School will have front-row seats when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge take the Shotover Jet boat ride next week.

The school has selected 15 pupils from all age groups, one for each decade the school has been open, and two teachers, who will be part of a small group on the Shotover River beach at Arthurs Pt who will wave to the royal couple and may have the chance to meet them.

The school was chosen to make up for the disappointment in 2005 when Prince William visited New Zealand in conjunction with a British and Irish Lions rugby tour. His programme included a visit to Arrowtown School - then hosting a rugby team from a British school - but low fog meant his plane could not land and his visit was cancelled.

Mindful of that, the duke wanted to acknowledge Arrowtown School during his upcoming visit to Queenstown.

Teachers Janey Winders and Joelle Healey will accompany the children.

"The kids are very excited about the opportunity and are definitely a little nervous. It's a huge honour and privilege for all of us to be able to be at Shotover Jet to see William and Kate," Winders said.

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"They'll be learning about the royal family and etiquette and what it means to meet a duke and duchess."

Winders would be the second person in her family to meet a member of the royal family after her mother and mother's twin sister were "presented" to the Queen more than 60 years ago at Buckingham Palace.

In her letter outlining why she should be chosen, Kate Edmonds, 10, said she really liked the royal couple.

"They're just so good together and I follow them in all the magazines and newspapers."

Annabelle Jones, 11, said she had been practising her curtsey so she was prepared should she have the opportunity to meet the young royals.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I'm stoked to be there. I just hope if I do get to meet the duchess I don't clam up and say nothing," she said.

Classmate Sam Clark, 10, said his mum was "really happy" when he told her the good news and that he "might shake the duke's hand" if he got the chance. He also hoped for a ride in a jet boat.

Southland