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Comment 12 NOVEMBER 2012

Prince Charles and Camilla hold court in New Zealand

12 NOVEMBER 2012

When it comes to official visits, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall don't shy away from getting stuck in. So when the pair were asked if they would like to have a go at shooting some netball hoops during a trip to a specialist training centre in Auckland, the answer was a resounding "yes".

Both the royal couple gave it their all trying to score a goal. Camilla didn't let her heels hold her back, leaping off the ground while reaching for the net. Unfortunately both the VIP visitors hit the rim several times, however.


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Netball player Maria Tutaia, 25, who is 6ft 2ins tall, joked: ''Let's just say he's pretty good with a crown on his head but his shooting needs some work. But it was good he had a go and nice to see him speak to all the athletes as he went round.''

The couple – on the final leg of their 13-day Australasia tour to mark the Diamond Jubilee – met some of New Zealand's finest sportsmen and women on their visit. The heir also shook hands with some swimmers and the couple met kayak students before watching athletes working out with gym equipment.

Charles dispensed with royal protocol when he met rugby player Linda Itunu, giving the 27-year-old a hug. "I just saw him and he looked like he needed a hug," she said afterwards. "I said to the Prince, 'Can I give you a hug' and he said he didn't mind."

After the embrace Linda helped him wipe her forehead and apologised for leaving him a bit damp. Before the royal visitor left she had stern words. 'I told him he better be supporting us - not England," she said.

Charles was later the guest of honour at the 'Shear Brilliance' wool promotion event. He saw a sheep shearing demonstration and told the crowd he was a supporter of the wool trade, saying: "According to GQ magazine, I am a fashion icon and so I just wanted you to know that I am wearing some very very smart gents natty New Zealand wool."


 



He was referring to the December issue of GQ Australia, in which the royal admits it's funny to be back in fashion at his age, but says it seems to happen every 25 years. In the same report he says that he doesn't make an effort to keep up with new styles, but waits for fashion to come around and catch up with him again, which seems to happen every two decades more or less.

The Prince added that one commentator had recently called him 'beyond fashion', which above all, confused him. "I am still not sure if he she meant it as a compliment," he said. 

While Charles talked fashion, his wife dropped in on East Tamaki Primary School where she was greeted by schoolchildren waving New Zealand flags.

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