Crowd sings 'Happy Birthday' to Charles
Well-wishers sang 'Happy Birthday' to Prince Charles as he and wife Camilla went walkabout on the Wellington waterfront.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall arrived on the waterfront to cheers from the crowd of about 500 and many couldn't resist bursting into song to mark his 64th birthday on Wednesday.
Under blue skies, and accompanied by mayor Celia Wade-Brown, the royals stopped to shake hands and chat with members of the public.
Wellingtonian Louise Dooley brought her dog Poppy along for the occasion.
"Camilla stopped and she actually made a beeline for Poppy, stroked Poppy and she said 'how gorgeous'."
Ms Dooley kept saying "how lovely to meet you" to Camilla.
"Charles didn't even look at Poppy," she told NZ Newswire.
However, Ms Dooley lamented that she doesn't have any photographic evidence of the royal encounter.
Many of those who couldn't get a spot up close stood on the balconies of nearby buildings in the hope of catching a glimpse of the couple.
Earlier, the couple received their official Diamond Jubilee welcome ceremony at Government House, hosted by Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae.
Speaking at the ceremony, Prince Charles said he was having a wonderful birthday.
“All sorts of people in New Zealand seem to share my birthday, including the Governor General and the Prime Minister’s wife,” he said.
“I couldn’t think of a better, happier place to spend my birthday than here in New Zealand.”
Camilla was wearing a patterned camel coloured Anna Valentine jacket with a slip dress and a Phillip Treacy hat with an upturned brim.
At the conclusion of the powhiri, a stirring haka performed by local school pupils echoed across the expansive lawn.
A 21-gun salute was fired and a Royal New Zealand Air Force Boeing 757 did a flyover.
The prince was presented with the New Zealand Armed Forces Award by defence force chief Lieutenant General Rhys Jones and the couple opened a new visitor centre at Government House.
Prince Charles will visit Weta Workshop in Miramar where Sir Peter Jackson will treat him to a sneak peek at part of the first film of the Hobbit trilogy.
But the day's highlight will no doubt be the prince's birthday party later at Government House, where he'll mark the milestone with 64 Kiwis who share the same birth date.
NZN / 3 News