Dancing, shopping in royal visit

Chch woman gets to dance with prince

Last updated 16:48 16/11/2012

Royals visit ReSTART mall

Charles and Camilla arrive

BIG FANS: Douglas Shaw and his daughter Sarah Shaw stood out as they waited outside the Christchurch City Council offices to greet the prince and duchess.

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After a spot of shopping, a quick dance and a walk around the Canterbury A&P Show, Prince Charles and his wife have wrapped up their visit to Christchurch.

The pair left the show about 4.30pm. It was their last stop in Christchurch before they head to Darwin about 10.30pm.

At the show, they picked up a bottle of wine, tried some "delicious" goose and unveiled a plaque to mark 150 years of the show.

Thousands of people lined Deans Ave at the showgrounds to catch a glimpse of the royals as they entered the presidential marquee.

Christchurch was the final stop for the prince and duchess, who have been visiting New Zealand this week as part of the Queen's diamond jubilee celebration.

They landed at Christchurch International Airport at 11.35am.

Room for dancing, shopping in royal couple's schedule

Among those lucky enough to get close to the royals was Lisa Shannon, who danced with the Prince of Wales.

When the royal couple visited the Dance-o-Mat, Shannon asked Charles if he wanted to dance.

Dancing with a prince "completed her destiny", she said.

"I'm still buzzing. If you don't ask you don't get," she said.

"He was a beautiful dancer. Very nice."

Earlier, the prince and duchess visited the Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Clock Tower and the City Mall, where a large crowd had gathered to greet them.

The prince presented a copy of the letter of condolence sent to Cantabrians on the first anniversary of the February 2011 earthquake to Mayor Bob Parker.

The letter will be included in a Queen Elizabeth II diamond jubilee time capsule to be buried at the clock tower in Victoria St.

The clock, made in England in 1860, was erected on the corner of High and Manchester streets in 1897 to mark the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria's accession.

In 1930 it was moved to its present site in Victoria St.

Maya Payne, 15, who was in the crowd at the City Mall, said she hoped to get a photo of the prince on her cellphone.

"It would just be an awesome thing to show people in years to come, especially when he's king," she said.

Prime Minister John Key, who has been trailing Charles and Camilla, stayed behind to shake a few hands and speak to the public.

He said the prince was "very moved by what he has seen and says it was difficult to comprehend the destruction''.

''He has been very touched by the spirit of the people and remarked how resilient they are and they deserve to see it rebuilt " he said.

Anglican Bishop Victoria Matthews was among the crowd.

At Re:Start, the duchess stopped at Ruby to do a bit of shopping. She bought a pair of black wedges and chatted to the shopowner.

Shop assistant Emily Stevens, 22, said she was surprised by Camilla's visit.

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"We thought she would just walk along. It was surreal she came in."

The duchess also picked up items from Hapa that she said were for her grandchildren.

Red-zone residents greet royals

About 15 red-zone residents gathered in Oxford Tce to greet Prince Charles and Camilla this morning.

The couple chatted to residents briefly before walking down the back of a badly damaged property for inspection.

Bangor St resident Hillary Ruscoe said she was glad the prince saw the earthquake damage.

"I think everybody should have a look and see what we've been through. The Archbishop of Canterbury was horrified when he came."

It was not her first encounter with royalty. She met Princess Margaret in 1948 and saw Prince Philip a year later.

"This will probably be my last royal sighting," Ruscoe said.

"I'm very excited to see him."

Ruscoe gave the duchess a hug and another resident presented her with flowers.

Bexley residents Sue and Barry Tutt had been invited to meet the Prince of Wales.

"It's very exciting; doesn't happen every day," Sue Tutt said.

"It will be good for him to go into the buildings to appreciate the damage. Photographs don't do it justice."

The couple said they were nervous about meeting the prince but would "follow his lead".

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee and Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority chief executive Roger Sutton explained the process of liquefaction to the royals.

Crowd cheers as royals arrive at council

Earlier, as the prince and duchess arrived at the Christchurch City Council offices in Worcester Blvd, the crowd of about 200 clapped and cheered while Ngai Tahu performed a Maori welcome.

About 20 people who were seriously injured in the February 2011 earthquake met privately with the royal couple.

The group of survivors included people who had limbs amputated, crush injuries, head and spinal injuries and severe brain injuries.

They said the warmth of Prince Charles and Camilla was overwhelming.

Summer Olliver, who was stuck in the Pyne Gould Corporation building for several hours with a six-tonne beam on her back, said the couple were friendly, easy to talk to and warm.

She said Camilla chatted easily while Prince Charles asked about her experiences during the February 2011 quake.

Bev Edward, who uses a wheelchair, said she bonded with Camilla on a "grandmother-to-grandmother" basis.

"I found some common ground with her. I have an interest in crafts."

She said they chatted about making smock dresses for their grandchildren.

Jane Taylor appealed to Charles' romantic side when she referred to her husband as her "hero".

"He seemed to think that was lovely."

Douglas Shaw, 56, was dressed in supportive headwear - his Union Jack velvet hat from the $2 Shop - making him a crowd standout.

His love of royalty showed in his impressive list of royals he has seen.

"The Queen a number of times, Princess Anne, Prince Charles a number of times, the Duke of Edinburgh, the King of Tonga, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. This is just another highlight."

Shaw was accompanied to the council offices by his daughter, budding royalist Sarah Shaw, 34, who wore a replica diamond jubilee bow jewel.

Christchurch woman Helen Elliott was in the crowd to see the royal couple and said she had a list of royals she had met - Prince Edward at Windsor Castle just after the Queen's mother had died and the Queen in Greymouth.

As a child, Elliott remembered thousands of people in Greymouth queuing and waving to the Queen, but today it was a demure crowd of about 200.

"My family laugh at me because I'm a real royalist," she said.

She managed to shake Camilla's hand and said it felt "thin and bony, not like it had done much work like us".

- The Press


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