Monday, 7 November 2016

State Visit New Zealand, Day One

The King and Queen of the Netherlands at the start of their State Visit to New Zealand
(photo koninklijkhuis Twitter)

One big hat, one big tiara - now that's what you call a start to a State Visit. On day one of their tour of New Zealand, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima have given us official welcomes, State Banquets and poignant moments of remembrance. Welcome to State Visit New Zealand, day one.

The King and Queen of the Netherlands began their visit in Wellington with an official welcome at Government House including the traditional Maori reception.

They were greeted by the new Governor-General, Patsy Reddy, and her husband, Sir David Gascoigne.

The royal couple then visited the Pukeahu National War Memorial where they laid a wreath, bowing their heads in respect and paused for a moment's silence. They also visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier where they followed tradition and placed a fern each in remembrance.


Willem-Alexander and Maxima then visited a new exhibition, created by Sir Peter Jackson, telling the story of World War One. The scale of the story came into reality as they stood beneath the tracks of a tank to hear about the background to the displays.

There was more art during a visit to Park Road Post Production to hear about the development of the film industry in New Zealand.

State Visits mean political meetings and the afternoon of day one saw the King and Queen of the Netherlands meet the Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key, and the leader of the opposition, Andrew Little.

State Visits also mean State Banquets and the evening ended with a gala dinner at Government House where King Willem-Alexander told those present that it was more than friendship that united the two countries and thanked his hosts for their hospitality.

The visit continues over the coming two days with trips to Auckland and Christchurch.

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