Before their marriage broke down, before she spoke out against the royal family and embarked on her own path as The People's Princess, happy newlywed Diana touched down in New Zealand with husband Prince Charles and baby Prince William.

It was a visit that delighted Kiwi crowds, but the 1983 royal tour would be the first and only visit to New Zealand Diana and Charles would make as a couple. They arrived on April 17.


At the time, they had been married just two short years. To the public, the fairytale still appeared eternally intact as Diana, always more popular on the walkabouts than her husband, wooed crowds, attended cocktail parties and met with local politicians. Diana met so many people that by the end of the day, her hands were left red and sore after enthusiastic greetings during walkabouts.

In what became iconic images of 10-month-old William, the little prince posed with his parents and gnawed on a Buzzy Bee on the lawn of Government House in Auckland as cameras snapped away at the happy family.

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Princess Diana, Prince William and Prince Charles at Government House Auckland 23 April 1985. Photo / NZ Herald
Princess Diana, Prince William and Prince Charles at Government House Auckland 23 April 1985. Photo / NZ Herald

As the Royal trio journeyed to Masterton, Wainuiomata and Upper Hutt, a demure Diana paraded an array of incredible outfits, the most memorable being a pale blue sequin-studded evening gown with a diamond tiara for a Parliament banquet dinner.

The family also took a tour of Wanganui Collegiate, where they visited Prince Edward, who was adorned in a Maori cloak, prompting Charles to ask: "What on earth are you wearing?"

During their tour it was estimated that the Royal couple shook approximately 2000 hands per day as they greeted adoring Kiwi crowds.

There were protests against the monarchy during their trip, and a buttock bared by Te Ringa Mangu Mihaka, but the trip was deemed a success for the Royal couple.

By April 30, the New Zealand tour was over and the couple boarded a plane destined for the Bahamas.

AUCKLAND

Royal Tour Charles and Diana 1983 Princess Diana, Prince William and Prince Charles at Government House Auckland 23 April 1985. Photo / NZ Herald
Royal Tour Charles and Diana 1983 Princess Diana, Prince William and Prince Charles at Government House Auckland 23 April 1985. Photo / NZ Herald
Prince Charles and Princess Diana receive a Maori challenge at a children's function at Eden Park 18 April 1983. Photo / NZ Herald
Prince Charles and Princess Diana receive a Maori challenge at a children's function at Eden Park 18 April 1983. Photo / NZ Herald
Anglican Archbishop Paul reeves welcomes Prince Charles and Princess Diana to sunday service at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell. Photo / NZ Herald
Anglican Archbishop Paul reeves welcomes Prince Charles and Princess Diana to sunday service at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell. Photo / NZ Herald
Diana walkabout school boy David Fisher, of St Josephs School, shows the Princess the art of playing marbles. Photo / NZ Herald
Diana walkabout school boy David Fisher, of St Josephs School, shows the Princess the art of playing marbles. Photo / NZ Herald
Princess Diana about to sign the visitors book during a civic reception at Auckland City Art Gallery 28 April 1983. Photo / NZ Herald
Princess Diana about to sign the visitors book during a civic reception at Auckland City Art Gallery 28 April 1983. Photo / NZ Herald

TAURANGA

Royal Tour Charles and Diana 1983 Princess Diana and Prince Charles in Tauranga 29 April 1983. Photo / NZ Herald
Royal Tour Charles and Diana 1983 Princess Diana and Prince Charles in Tauranga 29 April 1983. Photo / NZ Herald

GISBORNE

Princess Diana pressing noses in a hongi with the Minister of Maori Affairs during a visit to the Poho-O-Rawiri marae in Gisborne. Photo / NZ Herald
Princess Diana pressing noses in a hongi with the Minister of Maori Affairs during a visit to the Poho-O-Rawiri marae in Gisborne. Photo / NZ Herald

CHRISTCHURCH

Charles and Diana 1983 Prince Charles in his RNZAF uniform and Princess Diana at Cathedral Square, Christchurch. Photo / NZ Herald
Charles and Diana 1983 Prince Charles in his RNZAF uniform and Princess Diana at Cathedral Square, Christchurch. Photo / NZ Herald

WAITANGI

Prince Charles and Princess Diana take a ride in a Maori war canoe at Waitangi 29 April 1983. Photo / NZ Herald
Prince Charles and Princess Diana take a ride in a Maori war canoe at Waitangi 29 April 1983. Photo / NZ Herald
Royal Tour Charles and Diana 1983 Priness Diana at Waitangi 31 May 1983. Photo / NZ Herald
Royal Tour Charles and Diana 1983 Priness Diana at Waitangi 31 May 1983. Photo / NZ Herald