9 Nov 2015

Royals explore New Plymouth

7:37 pm on 9 November 2015

New Plymouth had to wait two extra hours for its brush with royalty after Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall's flight was delayed by fog.

Prince Charles and Camilla greet fans in New Plymouth

Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, greet fans in New Plymouth Photo: Supplied/ Pool copy

The royal couple, who arrived in New Zealand on 4 November, arrived in the early afternoon following the delay.

Their first event in New Plymouth was Tea with Taranaki, a garden party with 500 invited guests at Brooklands Park.

Every year Tibbeth Smith, 80, sends Prince Charles a birthday card and a Christmas greeting.

At the garden party, she finally got to meet her idol - and also managed to get a hug as well as a kiss.

"He gave me a peck on the cheek," she said.

Camilla gets a weaving lesson

The Duchess of Cornwall learns about weaving at the garden party. Photo: Supplied/ Pool copy

"I told Camilla about all of the letters and she said it was nice to be able to put a face to the name," Ms Smith said.

"I gave her a big hug too. It was absolutely wonderful."

Prince shown coastal walkway, dairy farm

The couple then split up, with the duchess visiting the Len Lye Centre and the prince taking a stroll on New Plymouth's coastal walkway and visiting the Trewithen Dairy Farm in Tikorangi.

The Prince of Wales was welcomed onto Te Rewa Rewa Bridge, over the Waiwhakaiho River, by members of hapu Ngati Tawhirikura.

The prince was told about the history of the land and its people, and the river's use in activities such as whitebaiting and fishing.

Afterwards, he met members of the Taranaki Race Walking team and shook hands with one of the oldest in the group, 91-year-old Ivor Ellis.

He also met two Opunake High School students, staff involved in the Enviroschools programme and pupils from Toko School, spending a few minutes chatting with each group.

Prince Charles explores New Plymouth's coast

Prince Charles explores New Plymouth's coast Photo: Supplied/ Pool copy

Close to 100 people turned up to see the prince during his walkabout, including New Plymouth's Alistair Glennie, who handed the royal a packet of pumpkin seeds as a gift.

After his close encounter with the future king, the 11-year-old said he wanted to give him a present and knew Prince Charles had a love of gardening.

The couple then left for Auckland, where the prince met with Labour leader Andrew Little and Prime Minister John Key. The royals will leave for Australia on Tuesday.

New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd joins students from St John Bosco and Sacred Heart Girls' College in welcoming the royal couple.

New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd joins students from St John Bosco and Sacred Heart Girls' College in welcoming the royal couple. Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

Wano Wharehoka escorts the royals into Brooklands Park

Wano Wharehoka escorts the royals into Brooklands Park Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

More than 500 guests wait for Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla at Tea with Taranaki

More than 500 guests wait for Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla at Tea with Taranaki. Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

Rhian Arbuckle, Tegan Frost and Kerry Greig won spots at Tea with Taranaki via council Facebook draw.

Rhian Arbuckle, Tegan Frost and Kerry Greig won spots at Tea with Taranaki in a Facebook draw. Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

Nicole McKay said it was an opportunity too good to be missed when she gave her five month old daughter Alba to Prince Charles

Nicole McKay hands her five-month-old daughter Alba to Prince Charles. Photo: RNZ/ Robin Martin

Geetha Kutty, from Settlement Support, and Bry Kopu of Tutama Wahine were looking forward to attending Tea with Taranaki.

Geetha Kutty, from Settlement Support, and Bry Kopu, of Tutama Wahine, were looking forward to attending Tea with Taranaki. Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

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