Prince Charles follows in his mother The Queen’s footsteps 66 years on to present this special honour

The future King presented a replacement Queen’s Colour to the Royal NZ Air Force during day one of his royal tour of New Zealand.
Loading the player...

He’ll one day have Colours of his own to bestow, but on Monday the Prince of Wales presented a replacement Queen’s Colour to the Royal New Zealand Air Force on behalf of his mother The Queen, following in her footsteps 66 years on.

In 1953 Queen Elizabeth visited the RNZAF Whenuapai base to personally present her Colour, the highest honour the Sovereign can present, and on Monday 66 years later, Prince Charles presented a replacement Colour (the original has since become worn) at the very same spot.

Wearing a formal military uniform, Prince Charles, accompanied by Duchess Camilla, was welcomed with a pōwhiri, before the 71-year-old greeted the parade and the new Queen’s Colour was laid over drums in front of the prince, which was then blessed and given a karakia.

“Over the decades since The Queen first gave you her Colour, you have upheld your proud traditions of service and duty, whilst continuing to adapt and to rise to the challenges of an ever-changing world,” Charles said during the ceremony.

“For my part, I need hardly say how proud I am of all of you, and just how much I value this bond with you – today and for the future.”

Following the ceremony Their Royal Highnesses made their way to the officers’ mess where they met with servicemen, servicewomen and their families for afternoon tea, concluding the first day of engagements for their royal visit to New Zealand.

Earlier in the day the couple visited the Auckland suburb of Mount Roskill, the most culturally diverse area in the country, to attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the Mt Roskill Memorial Park as well as honour the Niuean soldiers who lost their lives in WWI, serving alongside New Zealand.

The couple also visited the Wesley Community Centre where they enjoyed a traditional dance performance, joined in on a Christmas decorations arts and crafts session and met with different organisations who use the space as a base.

With Prince Charles having a huge interest in environmental issues, in particular tackling plastic waste, he also visited Critical Design, a social enterprise focused on achieving environmental sustainability by using technology to create new products out of recyclable materials.

Before concluding their day at Whenuapai, the couple made their way to Hunting Lodge Vineyard in Waimauku, where they learned about the estate’s ‘paddock to plate’ ethos and sampled some of the first Sauvignon Blanc grapes to be grown in New Zealand.

The also spoke with local food producers and whipped up a wine blend of their own.

Prince Charles and Camilla attend a wine tasting and make a blend of their own. (Image: Getty)

The second day in Auckland is set to be just as jam-packed for the couple, where they’re set to start their day at Government House to attend a welcome ceremony and meet New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Chief of Defence Force Kevin Short.

Along with private meetings with PM Ardern and National Party leader Simon Bridges, the couple will also attend a public walkabout at Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter and visit Emirates Team New Zealand.

Later in the day Prince Charles will attend a tea for the Prince’s Trust New Zealand and attend a sustainable urbanisation discussion before he re-joins Duchess Camilla to attend a reception in the evening hosted by Governor-General Patsy Reddy at Government House.

Related stories

Get your favourite magazines home delivered!  

Subscribe and save up to 38% on a magazine subscription.