The attendance of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has
attracted a full house for this year's Palm Sunday service at
St Paul's Cathedral in Dunedin.
Their appearance is also set to pull one of the year's larger
crowds for a Forsyth Barr Stadium event later in the morning.
A church spokesman said ''hundreds'' had been turned away
from Sunday's Palm Sunday Service at St Paul's Cathedral in
the Octagon, which the Royals will be attending, after many
more people were interested than seats available.
A full congregation of about 470, including pupils from St
Hilda's Collegiate School and representatives from the
University of Otago and Selwyn College, has been selected for
The Dean of the Cathedral, the Very Rev Dr Trevor James, said
the church had made every effort to ensure, with the seating
available, that a wide cross-section of the city was able to
attend the service.
Representatives of the city would attend, as would the
regular cathedral congregation and some of the hundreds of
members of the public who responded to a public invitation to
attend the service.
Palm Sunday marks Christ's entry into Jerusalem at the
beginning of holy week.
The service is scheduled to begin at 10am, after the Royal
couple arrive in Dunedin at 9.25am.
At the same time as the lucky church-goers will be pulling on
their Sunday best, several hundred other locals will be
warming up for a Rippa rugby tournament at Forsyth Barr
Stadium, expected to be watched by more than 8000 people.
The Royal couple are expected to join the fun from about
11.45am until they depart for their early afternoon flight to
Organisers are urging people to get to Forsyth Barr Stadium
early and be seated by 11am. Rippa rugby and entertainment
will run from 10am until about 1pm, as will the usual Sunday
Dunedin Venues marketing and communications manager Kim
Barnes said more than 8000 seats in the Speight's stand had
already been taken for the event, so the Mitre 10 stand would
also be used.
The free tickets were no longer available online, but could
be picked up from the box office at the stadium until 5pm
However, people without a ticket need not fear. Anyone who
did not manage to secure any tickets before Sunday could
still attend the event.
They would be seated in the Mitre 10 stand and could enter
the stadium through Gate C on the day.
Ms Barnes said Dunedin Venues was thrilled with the response.
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull yesterday also issued a formal
welcome to the Royal couple, and said the city was thrilled
they were coming and proud to carry on a long tradition of
hosting Royal visits.
''We are sure Their Royal Highnesses will take some special
memories of Dunedin with them when they depart for Queenstown
on Sunday afternoon.''