Couple 'very special to the universe'

21:16, Apr 13 2014

"You ripper" was how one royal-watcher described the Duchess of Cambridge yesterday as crowds ogled and squealed while Will and Kate charmed their way around Wakatipu.

Elizabeth Christopher, of Lake Hayes, friends and neighbours were among the crowd gathered at Arthurs Pt to watch the pair roar down the Shotover River in a V8-powered jet boat.

Christopher, who emigrated to New Zealand from Dorset in England almost a decade ago, said she was at a function years ago with Diana, Princess of Wales.

"Diana was stunning. [Will and Kate] are very down to earth and the baby's gorgeous. I just love their eye contact."

Australian holidaymaker Meredith Lawrie, of Beachport in South Australia, missed a chance to see the royals earlier on the New Zealand leg of the Down Under tour. She said she was happy to see the young couple include Adelaide on their Aussie tour. "They're great. Everywhere we've gone in New Zealand the people have been absolutely amazing."

Glenn Mitchell, a Kiwi raised in Australia who described himself as a "quasi-Aussie", was there with family in tow and said the children and adults were very excited.


The kids were up early on Sunday making Union Jack flags and their corner of the crowd was the most vocal of the spectators at the Shotover Jet. "It's the opportunity of a lifetime," Mitchell said.

Most of Arthurs Pt was out to see the action and catch a glimpse as the royals whizzed by in their motorcade.

Resident Steve Winter said the adults had done their best to rev up the children, telling them a few tales about what happens in the Tower of London if anyone misbehaves around royals. His daughter Hannah said the young couple was "very special to the universe."

The royals landed 15 minutes behind schedule on a classic bluebird Queenstown day. They were greeted by Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Vanessa van Uden and husband Peter Laurenson before being escorted into a 12-vehicle motorcade.

A small crowd had gathered at the edge of the airfield in Tex Smith Ln to wave at the motorcade.


The Southland Times