Latimer Sq place to be for royal visit

BRITTANY MANN AND ANNA PEARSON
Last updated 11:38 03/04/2014
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IMMINENT ARRIVAL: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, pictured during the St Patrick's Day parade in England.

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Christchurch residents' best chance of seeing Prince William and his wife, Catherine, is during their public walk through Latimer Square.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge fly into Christchurch on Monday, April 14 landing at at 10.15am.

However, there will be little chance to see them at the airport as they will drive immediately to the Christchurch City Council building in Worcester Boulevard for a welcome by Ngai Tahu at 10.35am.

The best chance for the public to see the young royals is in Latimer Square, where they are due to arrive shortly after 11am.

The couple will first visit the CTV memorial site and speak to families who lost loved ones in the 2011 quake before going across to the nearby Transitional Cathedral.

They are expected to walk around Latimer Square, stopping at the ICC Cricket World Cup countdown clock and meeting young cricketers before leaving at 12.20pm.

They will then drive to the Botanic Gardens to open the new visitors' centre from 12.30-12.50pm.

The royal plans in Christchurch on April 14 also include a visit to the Royal New Zealand Air Force Museum at Wigram from 1.15pm to 2.30pm.

The Duke and Duchess will fly out at 2.40pm.

William last visited Christchurch in 2011, following the February 22 earthquake.

SECURITY 'BREACH' A NONSENSE, SAYS KEY

Claims that the royal tour is at risk of a security breach are "nonsense" and the man behind the claims is an "idiot", Prime Minister John Key says.

Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae was criticised by a former royal protection squad boss for the level of detail shared on his official Twitter account. Mateparae's tweets advised where to get the best view of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their tour of New Zealand this month.

The former head of the Metropolitan Police royal protection squad in London, Dai Davies, called Mateparae an "idiot" for releasing the details, which he said was a "manual" for terrorists, "nutters" and "fixated people" hoping to harm the royal family.

However, Key said it was Davies who was the real idiot in this case.

"It's nonsense," Key said. "That bloke's an idiot but the governor-general certainly isn't."

Government House has been working with Buckingham Palace on what information could be released, Key said.

"We've had a 30-year history of giving out indications of routes the royal couple or family members will take."

Key said the tabloids in England often got stories wrong, including one about his office breaking protocol when releasing a photo of him with the Queen.

"I'm going to back Government House and the GG on this one, not the Daily Mirror," Key said.

A royal visit official said the palace and police were satisfied with the level of security and plan for the upcoming royal tour.

Royal visit media manager Allen Walley said the level of detail released ahead of next week's tour was exactly the same as for the Prince of Wales' visit in 2012.

He told a media briefing in Christchurch yesterday nothing had been released "that is not released for every royal visit at the same time in advance . . . going back for the last 30 years".

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The public were "quite rightly" anxious to know how they could see the duke and duchess, he said.

"It's a very rare opportunity."

The palace and the New Zealand police were "comfortable" with the tour's plan and security would reflect the couple's "celebrity" status, Walley said.

"The duke and duchess get a lot more publicity than, for example, the Prince of Wales and Camilla.

"The crowds may be larger and a lot more emotional," he said.

Davies expressed his dismay at the level of detail released to the Daily Mail .

"I find it almost unbelievable someone would do this," he was quoted as saying.

"It's a manual, and it goes against anything I believe in. Appalled is the word."

And he told the Mirror: "I'm appalled at the idiocy of any idiot who would publish, this far in advance, both route and location."

In 2009 it emerged the Queen and Prince Philip had been victims of an assassination attempt while travelling through Australia's Great Dividing Range in 1970, he said.

There needed to be alternative routes for the royals to get to venues safely.

"It makes a mockery, because historically most attacks do take place when you're going to and from a venue that's been publicised."

- The Press

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