Portraits of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh adorn the walls of many majestic local and national government buildings around the globe.
But for one night, portraits of the popular royals, which hang proudly in Auckland's Town Hall, ended up in a toilet after some late-night antics.
Some 21 years ago, former Auckland City mayor Christine Fletcher and an incongruous band of councillors had been unwinding after the monthly council meeting in the Town Hall and headed back to the Edwardian wood-panelled debating chamber.
There, under the bemused gaze of two security guards, right-wing property landlord Jon Olsen clambered on to a chair and removed the oil painting of the Queen. Supporting him as he teetered under the weight of the chair was veteran leftie Richard Northey.
Fletcher hitched up her skirts and dealt to the Duke of Edinburgh, according to a Herald report written at the time by columnist Brian Rudman.
Egging them on were deputy mayor the Reverend Dr Bruce Hucker and City Vision councillor Maire Leadbeater.
Some were still clutching their wine glasses. Dr Hucker insisted he was fuelled solely by Diet Coke.
Once down, the royal couple were made to cool their heels overnight in the historic mayor's toilet. Rudman was told no republican put-down was intended. It was late at night and the toilet was handy and had a lockable door.
The president of the Tory Citizens & Ratepayers ticket, John Collinge, called the councillors' behaviour reminiscent of a "yobbo's stag party".
Soon after the studentish prank, the portraits were reinstated to their proper place on either side of the elaborately carved mayoral chair.
This week, Fletcher said she is a strong supporter of the constitutional monarchy, but from a feminist perspective the portrait of the Queen aged about 30 in a ball gown did not align with the Queen as she was in 2000, a view she holds to this day.
"If the only image that we can have as women as we age is of a young, svelte 30-year-old, it doesn't leave much help for the ageing amongst us.
"The Queen to me has been a very dignified model of a woman who has aged gracefully and we weren't seeing any visibility of that.
"I wanted to have a more fitting image of her that reflected the age," said the 65-year-old.
Fletcher disputed Rudman's report that she removed the portrait of the now deceased Duke of Edinburgh, saying she targeted the Queen.
She also denied any part in putting the portraits in the toilet, saying they were put up against a wall.
"Where they subsequently went I can't be responsible for.
"With the benefit of age I regret the way I went about making my point and recognise there would have been better ways," said Fletcher, a former National MP, one-term Auckland City Mayor and Auckland councillor since 2010.
The portraits still hang in the debating chamber, which is no longer used for council meetings by Auckland Council, an amalgamation of the former Auckland City Council and seven other councils.
A condolence book has been set up in the Town Hall, just outside the old debating chamber, for people to send messages of support and aroha to the royal family.
The Duke of Edinburgh's funeral is being held overnight tonight New Zealand time after he passed away last week at the age of 99.