Tauranga won't party with the Prince

By Staff reporter


People in Tauranga with the same birthday as the Prince of Wales have missed out on partying with him when he visits New Zealand in November.

More than 1500 people, who celebrate their birthday on November 14 - the same day as Prince Charles, applied for an invitation to attend a birthday party for the Prince at Government House in Wellington.

From the applicants, 64 people were chosen to attend the party, along with their nominated guest.

When applications closed at 5pm on October 10, 1506 people had applied for an invitation to attend the party, which will be held in the Ballroom at Government House in Wellington.

The announcement was made this morning on the Government House website.

Niels Holm, Official Secretary at Government House, said those drawn varied in age from those turning 18 to another who is celebrating her 101st birthday.

He said the recipients were chosen at random, with the exception of the oldest attendee.

Those selected come from throughout New Zealand and include a New Zealand citizen who applied from the United States.''

He said the birthday party was a wonderful opportunity for New Zealanders to meet Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.

"That the Diamond Jubilee visit includes the Prince's birthday is a happy coincidence that we couldn't simply allow to pass without marking in a special Kiwi way. And what better way to mark the Prince's birthday than to invite New Zealanders from a wide range of backgrounds who are also celebrating their special day to join a most memorable party.''

Governor General, Sir Jerry Mateparae, who will be at the birthday celebration, said he was heartened by the response.

"The birthday party has really captured the public imagination and shows the genuine interest New Zealanders hold in the forthcoming Royal visit.

"I'm really looking forward to meeting those selected and enjoying a great Kiwi-themed birthday party with Their Royal Highnesses.''

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, will visit New Zealand from November 10-16 to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

The applicants who did not receive an invitation to the birthday bash will receive a small consolation prize.

Mr Holm said a birthday card would be sent to everyone who met the criteria and applied before the cut-off date. `

"The birthday card is a small token to thank everyone who took the time to apply and to thank them for their interest in the Royal visit.''

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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