The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were refused a meeting by the New Zealand royal
But apparently there’s another royal out there who simply doesn’t have time to have them over for tea.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are preparing to set off on their royal tour of New Zealand and Australia next month – their first tour with baby Prince George in tow. Their itinerary is reportedly jam-packed with meetings and engagements – but they will not be meeting King Tuheitia, leader of New Zealand’s Maori population of roughly 600,000.
The king’s office confirmed that he did refuse the meeting – but he meant no disprespect.
According to a statement released this week, King Tuheitia is happy the royal family is visiting his country, but there was not time to show them a proper Maori welcome, which traditionally could take hours.
‘King Tuheitia agonised over his final decision but felt that other planned visits in Waikato were just as important and he didn’t want those visits disadvantaged or affected by his acceptance of the Royal couple at Turangawaewae Marae,’ officials said. ‘Our full reasons for declining the visit were conveyed to the Royal couple in a personal letter from King Tuheitia that was couriered to the Palace several weeks ago. The policy around correspondence of this nature is that they are sealed and are not to be opened for a finite period.’
The statement continued: ‘In respect to the status of the Royal Couple, and that of the Rangatira who would gather to pay homage to the couple at Turangawaewae, 60 to 90 minutes was not considered to be’adequate to [honour] the Royal couple appropriately. The King wanted to give his best to this couple to reflect their status, he was being prevented from doing that.’
Kate and Wills’ trip will, however, include the first public appearance by their 8-month-old son. We can’t wait to see the adorable little prince again – and to find out what stylish baby clothes he’ll be wearing.