Photo recall: Right royal days for kindy kids

By Kathryn Powley

It doesn't seem that long ago that the world cheered the birth of Prince William, heir to the throne of Britain, New Zealand and a few Caribbean islands. Now, he has his own baby on the way to take his or her place as third in line to the throne.

Photo / Bay of Plenty Times
Photo / Bay of Plenty Times

It was 30 years ago and the Commonwealth of Nations was celebrating the birth of a prince. Bonny blue-eyed baby William Wales weighed in at 3.2kg (7lb 1oz) and, said a palace spokesman, "cried lustily".

The second in line to the throne was born on June 21, 1982, in a private wing at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington.

The same day, half a world away, the children of Maungatapu Kindergarten in Tauranga were recreating the moment.

Wearing paper crowns, little Lee Hyslop (left) and Kelly Richardson played the happy parents Prince Charles and Princess Diana, with a doll bundled up in a soft blanket doing a great job as baby Wills.

Their photo appeared in the Bay of Plenty Times the next day, accompanied by a story that said their classmates celebrated the birth with painting and craft.

Hyslop, now a panelbeater, still lives in the area, although he doesn't remember the day or Richardson.

"My mum's got the photo, so I do get reminded of it."

He'd just turned 4 and is now 34.

"I wasn't overly happy about having my picture taken."

He doesn't really class himself as a royal-watcher but it's hard to avoid the saturation coverage of Prince William and wife Kate's own baby news. "I think they've got it pretty tough don't they?"

Hyslop is now a dad himself to daughter Samantha, who is about to turn 5.

Another child is expected in March.

Hyslop says he isn't sure whether there will be the same re-enactments going on in kindergartens when the next royal baby arrives.

"I think everything's a bit more PC now they're not allowed to do as much.

"You can't do much without offending someone nowadays, can you?"

Hyslop has fond memories of kindergarten.

"Finger-painting, the bag room where you used to get a little sticker to remind you where you left your bag, playing with friends, riding trolleys and slides and that sort of stuff.

"It was nice and easy, eh?"


kathryn.powley@hos.co.nz

- Herald on Sunday

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