Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla begin their royal tour of New Zealand

Despite the wet weather, there were smiles all round as the future King and Queen of England kicked off their first day in New Zealand.
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Today’s weather may be patchy, but the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were greeted with clearer skies yesterday as they kicked off their week-long tour of Aotearoa, their third joint visit to the country.

Landing at the Whenuapai Royal New Zealand Air Force base in northwest Auckland on Sunday afternoon, the royal couple were welcomed by a number of dignitaries, including Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy, and a bugle was played.

Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla touched down in Auckland on Sunday afternoon. (Image: Getty)

This morning Prince Charles, hot off the heels from his whirlwind visit to India last week, and Duchess Camilla attended a wreath-laying at Mount Roskill War Memorial to acknowledge the New Zealand military and also paid their respects at the memorial for Niuean forces who fought alongside New Zealand in World War I.

There, Prince Charles laid a wreath on the Cenotaph before, Duchess Camilla laid a bouquet in front of a plaque engraved with the names of 150 Niuean soldiers who lost their lives in WWI, as members of the Saints Up Performing Arts Choir sang This Is Me from the film The Greatest Showman.

Prince Charles lays a wreath on the Cenotaph at the Mt Roskill War Memorial on Monday morning. (Image: Getty)

Duchess Camilla, 70, wore a pale blue two-piece outfit for the morning’s engagements, thought to be by Bruce Oldfield according to Twitter user @camillas_closet, which she accessorised with a DeMellier handbag and nude Sole Bliss heels.

Meanwhile, Prince Charles, 71, opted for a dark blue pinstripe suit, which he adorned with a number of his awards and medals.

Duchess Camilla looked chic in a light blue two-piece outfit said to be by Bruce Oldfield. (Image: Getty)

Despite the wet weather Prince Charles and Camilla were all smiles as they greeted members of the community and servicemen and women from the New Zealand Army, Navy and Air Force, while representatives from the Niue RSA brought the colour in bright pink, orange and yellow.

As the rain began to beat down, the royal couple made their way next door to the Wesley Community Centre, a base for several community groups, in the most culturally diverse area of New Zealand.

Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla met with people from the community and servicemen and women from the NZ Army, Navy and Air Force. (Image: Getty)

According to the NZ Herald, the royal couple were welcomed with a performance by a dance group, with the couple seen smiling and tapping their feet to the music.

Camilla was then presented with a necklace and a hug by a young girl after the performance while Prince Charles made his way around the centre talking briefly to the different organisations gathered.

Charles also met with staff from RYZ FM who told the NZ Herald they’d played a Bob Marley song for the royal on his request, while Camilla joined young children doing arts and crafts and decorated a Christmas ornament with pink and yellow feathers.

Despite the rain, Prince Charles was all smiles as he greeted the crowds. (Image: Getty)

The royal couple then parted ways as Prince Charles made his way to Critical Design, a social enterprise focused on achieving environmental sustainability, where he was greeted with a rousing haka.

The social enterprise uses technology to create new products out of recyclable materials including plastic pipes, fishing nets and car bumpers and Prince Charles had a go at it himself, placing shredded plastic into moulds.

“You’re quite good at it,” a staff member reportedly told him, joking: “Are you looking for a job?” which was met by a chuckle from the Prince.

There he was also presented with a Māori axe, made from recycled plastic.

Prince Charles looks pretty chuffed with his Māori axe, made out of recycled plastic. (Image: Getty)

This afternoon Charles and Camilla will make their wait to the Hunting Lodge Vineyard in Waimauku where they’ll meet with local community and food producers to celebrate sustainable produce.

They’ll also take a tour of the vineyard and learn about Hunting Lodge’s ‘paddock to table’ ethos before sampling some of New Zealand’s first sauvignon blanc.

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