Prince Charles and Camilla arrive in New Zealand

9:51 pm on 4 November 2015

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla have been treated to a chilly welcome in New Zealand as their seven-day visit kicks off.

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Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall make their way to shelter at Wellington Airport. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The prince and his wife landed at the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) terminal in Wellington, in wet and cold weather conditions more reminiscent of winter than spring, early this afternoon.

They arrived in an RNZAF Boeing 757 on a flight from Singapore, two years after their last visit here.

The royal couple were met by Prime Minister John Key and his wife Bronagh, along with Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown, before heading to Government House for an official welcome.

In the first public event of the royal tour, the prince and duchess attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the Pukeahau National Memorial Park in front of about 100 people.

The couple laid a wreath at the memorial before greeting former soldiers and unveiling the Commonwealth Walkway plaque.

They spoke briefly with veterans from World War II and Korea, including former British Paratroopers and members of the Russian Convoy.

The royal couple then wandered through ANZAC Square to meet fans. Jasmin Johnson, 15, who was among those in the crowd, said it was great to see Prince Harry's father.

Some members of the public in Wellington, however, told RNZ they would rather meet the All Blacks - who today celebrated their Rugby World Cup win in Auckland.

An evening state reception for the royal visitors, hosted by Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae and his wife, Lady Janine, at Government House, was attended by about 100 dignitaries - including Mr Key and opposition leader Andrew Little.

The Duchess of Cornwall, however, pulled out to recover from a troublesome cough and jet lag.

Sir Jerry said he regretted that Prince Charles would not remain in New Zealand for his birthday on 14 November, and would instead celebrate with "our Australian cousins".

"I could say something more about lifting their spirits," Sir Jerry said, prompting laughter.

In response, the prince said he was "so relieved" that New Zealand won the rugby, admitting he was "slightly anxious" of what he would find on his visit if the All Blacks had failed to keep the cup.

"By the time we get to Australia, hopefully they will have got over it," he said.

"Secretly, I did think [the All Blacks] were going to win all the time. How they do it, I don't know. It's a great demonstration of sporting prowess."

Prince Charles and Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae at a state reception at Government House in Wellington on the evening of 11 November 2015.

Prince Charles, left, and Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae at the state reception at Government House. Photo: POOL / Getty Images

Left to right: Bronagh Key, John Key, Lady Janine Mateparae, Prince Charles and Sir Jerry Mateparae at a state reception at Government House in Wellington on the evening of 11 November 2015.

Left to right: Bronagh Key, John Key, Lady Janine, Prince Charles and Sir Jerry Photo: POOL / Getty Images

Couple 'looking forward' to tour

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will carry out joint engagements as well as solo visits while in New Zealand, with events ranging from a visit to a West Coast brewery to a welcome onto Turangawaewae Marae.

The public will have several opportunities to see the royal couple, with walkabouts in several towns.

Before their arrival, Prince Charles praised New Zealand for giving everyone in the UK "so much sporting prowess and excitement" in the Rugby World Cup.

"I am much looking forward to our tour of Australia and New Zealand, especially when these two countries have given everyone so much sporting prowess and excitement in the UK through the Rugby World Cup," he said.

"Over the past 50 years I have enjoyed so much about the visits; the people, the landscape, the wildlife or at least some of it! - as well as the many different communities and cultures."

The royal couple leave New Zealand next Tuesday for Australia where Prince Charles will celebrate his 67th birthday at a beach barbecue in Perth on 14 November.

Wellington fans await Charles and Camilla.

Wellingtonians Jasmin Johnson and Megan Lister, both 15, wait to meet the royal couple in the rain. Photo: RNZ/Nick Butcher

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall at the Pukeahau National Memorial Park in Wellington.

Photo: POOL / NZH

The couple laid a wreath at the memorial before greeting former soldiers and unveiling the Commonwealth Walkway plaque.

The couple laid a wreath at the memorial before greeting former soldiers and unveiling the Commonwealth Walkway plaque. Photo: POOL / NZH

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall placed ferns on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior - although the wind did its best to blow them away.

The royal couple place ferns on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. Photo: POOL / NZH

Britain's Prince Charles speaks to members of the public at the National War Memorial in Wellington on November 4, 2015.

Prince Charles speaks to members of the public at the National War Memorial in Wellington. Photo: AFP

Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the Pukeahau National Memorial Park in front of a crowd of about 100 people.

Photo: POOL / NZH

The Duchess of Cornwall and her husband attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the Pukeahau National Memorial Park in front of a crowd of about 100 people.

Photo: POOL / NZH

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They arrived in an RNZAF Boeing 757 on a flight from Singapore. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

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