11 May 2015

Harry on pasta, palace & granny

11:45 am on 11 May 2015

Prince Harry has been visiting at Stewart Island's only school, Halfmoon Bay School, which has just two teachers and 24 students.

He saw how the students, aged between five and 13, make use of video and online technology to learn from their remote location.

Prince Harry with children at Halfmoon Bay School.

Prince Harry with children at Halfmoon Bay School. Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

The royal visitor sat in on a beginners' German class, taught by Stephanie Michel from her Taranaki home via video link.

Ms Michel asked Prince Harry if he could speak any other languages.

"I learned French at school, but I've forgotten most of it," he said.

The prince said he had wanted wanted to learn Spanish, but said his teacher told him not to bother.

"I wish I could speak German," he said.

After chatting with the students learning German, the prince went into another classroom where pupils performed a waiata, some wearing colourful crowns they had made for the occasion.

The prince was welcomed to the school by two students and a nervous-looking year one pupil who read a story he had written about making poppies for the school's Anzac display. Others shared Anzac-themed tales they had also written.

It was then the Halfmoon Bay students' chance to grill Prince Harry.

Pupils at Halfmoon Bay School on Stewart Island meet the prince.

Pupils at Halfmoon Bay School on Stewart Island meet the prince. Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

One student asked what his favourite thing about flying helicopters was.

"You have a moving office... There's only two of you in the office and no one else can bother you," he said.

Asked whether he lived in a castle, Prince Harry said he did not, adding he did not even have a crown.

Another wanted to know what he called the Queen.

"I call her Granny, but I refer to her as the Queen because I'm in the army and she's my boss."

One little girl wanted to know the prince's favourite food.

"Spaghetti Bolognese. Is that a good answer?"

He was also quizzed about his favourite parts of his trip to Stewart Island and why he had decided to make the trip.

"You guys are very, very lucky to live in a place like this," Prince Harry told them.

"Make the most of it guys, suck in the fresh air."

Prince Harry with students at Halfmoon Bay School using remote learning technology.

Prince Harry with students at Halfmoon Bay School using remote learning technology. Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

The conversation then turned to helicopters and the prince suggested the students write to Prime Minister John Key and ask if they could all go for a helicopter ride around Stewart Island.

The school's band then performed The Exponents' classic song, Why Does Love Do This To Me?

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