Nikki Preston

Nikki Preston is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

A party fit for a Duchess

Felicity Cawood has created some colourful characters for the party. Photo / Christine Cornege
Felicity Cawood has created some colourful characters for the party. Photo / Christine Cornege

It's a daunting job planning a party for a Duchess - especially when her parents are in the events' business.

But it is a challenge children's hospice Rainbow Place is embracing as they prepare to host the Duchess of Cambridge in just over two weeks.

The organisation supports children with life-limiting illnesses or who have a terminally ill parent by providing mainly in-home care. It will be unrecognisable when it transforms its Cobham Drive carpark in Hamilton using a Scandinavian-style marquee similar to the one Kate and William had to celebrate their first wedding anniversary.

The 48 children being looked after by Rainbow Place, their families and the Duchess will be entertained by Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter, the Frog Prince and elves.

Felicity Cawood, who is planning the annual Gallagher's Children's Party to coincide with the royal visit, put together floral arrangements for royal engagements when she was working for a florist in London.

With her sister, artist Sarah Peterson, they have been creating props and scenery.

The Duchess is familiar with party planning as her parents run a party decoration business, Party Pieces, in the UK.

The Duchess selected Rainbow Place for a visit because of her ties with children's hospices at home.

Kate and William's diary

• Monday, April 7 - Wellington
Arrive at Wellington Military Terminal. Welcome ceremony at Government House.

• Wednesday, April 9 - Wellington
Plunket nurse and parents' group hosted at Government House.

• Thursday, April 10 - Blenheim/Wellington
Visit Seymour Square War Memorial in Blenheim and Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre. State reception at Government House.

• Friday, April 11 - Auckland
Visit RNZAF Base, Whenuapai and Viaduct Basin. Match-race sailing of America's Cup yachts on Waitemata Harbour.

• Saturday, April 12 - Waikato
Duke visits Pacific Aerospace, Duchess visits Rainbow Place children's hospice. Visit Cambridge.

• Sunday, April 14 - Dunedin/Queenstown
Service at Cathedral Church of St Paul, The Octagon. Attend youth rugby tournament at Forsyth Barr Stadium. Arrive Queenstown, visit Amisfield Winery. Shotover Jet trip.

• Monday, April 14 - Christchurch
Visit CTV memorial park and 2015 Cricket World Cup event. Visit Wall of Remembrance at Wigram Air Force Museum.

• Wednesday, April 16 - Wellington
Visit Police College and Civic Square. RAAF flight to Sydney.

- NZ Herald

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