Tight lips over Royals' Hobbit leather room visit
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.