Prime Minister of New Zealand The Right Honourable John Key has been extended an invitation by Her Majesty The Queen to visit Balmoral Castle along with his wife and children later this month. The visit will be his fifth official one with Her Majesty.
Mr Key told TVNZ’s Breakfast that he and his family were expecting a ‘relaxed atmosphere’ and that they had received a list of what clothing would be appropriate to wear during formal and non-formal events hosted by the palace and The Queen.
“They give you a list of what’s appropriate, like there’s tea at 5pm every day, and then supper, and one of those nights is black tie.”
During the visit the Prime Minister will meet with Her Majesty and most likely discuss matters affecting New Zealand where The Queen acts as head of state.
Mr Key has visited Balmoral Castle once before but on that occasion was not accompanied by his wife or children who will visit alongside him later this month. He had initially planned to visit the castle and The Queen three years ago but after the devastating September 4th earthquake which struck Christchurch he had to cancel. He is said to be excited to be visiting.
During her lifetime, Her Majesty The Queen has made a few official visits to the small country of New Zealand 12,000 miles from her home. The first was in 1953 during her long Commonwealth tour post coronation; during the visit she became the first reigning monarch to officially open New Zealand’s Parliament (normally done by the Governor-General during the absence of the monarch). Visits were also made by The Queen to New Zealand in 1963, 1970, 1974, 1977, 1981, 1986, 1990, 1995 and her final visit was made in 2002.
New Zealand has a special relationship with The Queen and the Royal Family, one which it seems New Zealanders would like to see continue into the future.