Towns on the royal tour route are getting ready for an
international spotlight that promises to boost the promotion
of New Zealand.
Accommodation in towns on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's
10-day itinerary is almost booked out as displays in shops
are set up and red-and-blue streamers readied.
The royal couple and their 8- month-old son, Prince George,
will arrive on Monday, but the tour is already attracting
much attention in the British press.
Ingrid Seward, royal commentator and editor-in-chief of
London-based Majesty magazine, said the visit would double as
a chance for the country to promote a different side.
"Many people know a little about [New Zealand's] beauty and
its great wines, but that is all. Because of the global
interest in the Cambridges, it will highlight other aspects
of the two islands and the people.
"The tour will be very closely watched as never before, as
it's the first time so much social media has been available.
Also, the promise that Prince George might suddenly appear."
Towns on the royals' path are busy making sure they are ready
for the spotlight.
In Cambridge, businesses are setting up shop-front displays,
with House of Travel Cambridge decorating its windows with
pictures of Kensington Palace and royal cut-outs.
The last royal visit to the Waikato town was in 1953, when
Prince William's grandparents, the Queen and the Duke of
Edinburgh, toured the Karapiro hydro-electricity project.
Rebecca Foy, manager of Cambridge i-Site, said accommodation
in the area would soon be full.
There was a real buzz around town, Ms Foy said.
Waipa District Council spokeswoman Jeanette Tyrrell said it
was impossible to say how many people might turn up for a
glimpse of William and Kate.
"We had heard that buses are coming from Tokoroa and the
Coromandel ... but, really, nobody can say."
Schools and parks will be opened for carparking, 18 temporary
toilets have been brought in, and 3km of fencing set up.
Ms Seward said the royal couple would be exhausted by the
"Even with time off, it is impossible to really relax as you
always have the next day's duties to deal with. I think they
will certainly enjoy it, but ... it doesn't matter how young
you are, that trip takes it out of you and normally it would
take at least a week to recover."
Where to see the royals
Monday, April 7: Wellington. Public drive to Government House
via Oriental Bay.
Thursday, April 10: Blenheim/Wellington. Lay wreath at War
Memorial, Seymour Square, and public walk; WWI event and
day at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre.
Friday, April 11: Auckland. Public walk/drive along Halsey St
Saturday, April 12: Waikato.
Public drive/walk in Cambridge.
Sunday, April 13: Dunedin/Queenstown. Ngai Tahu welcome
at airport; service at Cathedral Church of St Paul, The
Octagon, then public drive to Forsyth Barr
Stadium; Queenstown Airport.
Monday, April 14: Christchurch.
Ngai Tahu welcome, Christchurch City Council building;
various events around Latimer Square.
Wednesday, April 16: Wellington.
Walk through Civic Square.