Tight lips over Royals' Hobbit leather room visit

Prince Charles, who is 64 today, meets students in Auckland on Monday


A tight-lipped Weta Workshop won't say if Charles and Camilla enjoyed a sneek Hobbit film peek today.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall spent an hour at the Miramar digital workshop.

There they met Sir Richard Taylor, film producer Sir Peter Jackson and senior visual effects artist Joe Letteri.

Prince Charles was shown a studio featuring large scale film props and sculptures, along with the "leather room", where technicians work on costumes, before heading to the sculpting, moulding and make-up room, the design studio, the "weapons wall" and the metalwork studio.

No-one would talk about what the Royal couple thought of the workshop or whether they enjoyed the top-secret viewing of parts of The Hobbit at the conclusion of the tour.

Earlier, Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown hosted the Royals on a walk around the waterfront, flanked by thousands of excited onlookers.

She had promised the couple a memorable, enjoyable visit.

One of those following the couple was Wellingtonian Camille Guzzwell and four-year-old daughter Mia, who shook Camilla’s hand.

Mia then handed the Duchess a painting of a dog.

“That was pretty awesome actually, so beautiful in person and warm and real. It was pretty cool,” Ms Guzzwell says.



Tonight’s birthday celebration in Wellington for Prince Charles and Governor-General Lt-Gen Sir Jerry Mateparae will be a special night for 64 New Zealanders.

They have been invited to the 64th birthday celebration at Government House after applying.

All except the oldest attendee – 101 years of age – were chosen at random. Those attending come from throughout New Zealand, including Auckland, Hawke’s Bay, Christchurch, Wanganui, Tararua and even one from the US.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall arrive in Wellington around midday and will head straight to Government House for an official welcoming ceremony.

The couple then get to open a new visitor information centre at Government House, which is New Zealand’s diamond jubilee gift to Queen Elizabeth.

About 1.30, the Royal party will meet join Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown and deputy mayor Ian McKinnon for a walk along the waterfront. It is an opportunity for Wellingtonians to meet the couple. 

This is followed by a visit Weta Workshop to meet Sir Peter Jackson and co-director Sir Richard Taylor for a guided tour and a secret but brief screening of parts of The Hobbit.

Prince Charles’ afternoon also involves a meeting with under-fire Labour leader David Shearer, followed by another with Prime Minister John Key.

After tomorrow’s meeting with families of New Zealand’s fallen soldiers, it is on to Feilding and Palmerston North, where the couple will attend a special farmers’ market and a visit to a local farm to meet John and Diny Dermer to discuss the farm’s forestry operation and the area’s wetlands.

On Friday, Prince Charles and Camilla will meet Christchurch residents injured in the Canterbury earthquakes, before touring some of the damaged areas and visiting Cashel Street’s container mall.

They will round out their New Zealand trip with a visit to the 150th Canterbury A&P Show, before heading home.


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Yawn, so the toffs get more free stuff and people live in poverty, glad to see nothings really changed in hundreds of years and the serfs working to pay for a traveling hairdresser. Does that mean any taxpayer can get free haircuts from their "entourage?"


No. Because, as you correctly observed- you're a serf.


I'm tired of the small, vocal minority who object to Monarchy in New Zealand. Where is your pride in heritage and history? A shift to republicanism would be timely, complicated and costly, and could only be justified if the current situation was in dire need of overhaul. Well, it isn't. It's working fine, and the huge majority of Kiwis love the monarchy. So find another bone to chew.


Isn't it laughable how some pride in heritage and history is looked on with such love and beer goggle eyes but If you mention maori or pacific island heritage and pride then it's just the norm for that to get blown off, let alone the misinformation and ridiculous articles that the media help perpetuate in this country.


The prince is 64, one year left until the official retirement age, and he has yet to have his first job - makes for a very short LinkedIn profile


Nice rhetoric but no substance - Served in Armed Services 1971-1976 - Established and is President of 16 charaties that raise more than £100million annually - Also patron of over 350 other charities and organisations. He carried out 560 official engagements in 2008, 499 in 2010, and over 600 in 2011.


I know and agree MooseAttack, democracy and minority opinions are such a nuisance. Frankly I think that same pesky minority should have kept their traps shut about the earth being round. There was nothing wrong with thinking it was flat. Find another bone to chew indeed.


He aint part of my heritage, im Scottish and as far as im concerned the English royal family stole our castles and land


That's what you get for bearing your backsides at us.


Don't blame the English, blame your forebears who lacked the skill and strength to hold on to them. That's Darwinism in action, culling the weak...a bit like what happened to your rugby team at the weekend...


We shouldn't be wasting money of these leeches. New Zealand needs to grow up and break the shackles from the monarchy and become a republic.


Perhaps you could name a few of the shackles?
Our monarchy comes at a bargain price compared to the cost of maintaining a republic with a president and additional elections.
Also, has NZ not grown up because we have a monarchy? I take it Norway, Spain and Thailand have also not 'grown up' then?


Lol, As an American with no opinion on the english monarchy whatsoever I find these comments to be quite interesting... and a bit entertaining as well.


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