Dozens of the country's best dance and drama students sang their lungs out in a series of performances for Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in Wellington yesterday.

At the same time her husband experienced a slice of Kiwi schooling at Tawa College.

It was a warmer and less wind-blown arrival for the royal pair as Camilla visited Te Whaea in Newtown yesterday morning.

Te Whaea is home to Toi Whakaari, the national drama school, and the New Zealand School of Dance.


The school embraced Maori customs and values in its teachings, drama director Christian Penny said, and also drew on British drama and dance heritage.

Just as the school fused elements of Pakeha and Maori culture, the students chose to perform Pungawerewere, a song about a spider weaving a web and making a new house. Students said the song was about making connections, as they were doing with Camilla.

The duchess seemed to especially like Chloe Alderton's community art project, which was based on the latest adult colouring-in trend.

Camilla signed the project, to the students' delight.

There was a small group of onlookers outside, including Ruth and Wolffradt, a couple on holiday from the Baltic coast of Germany.

The bemused tourists initially thought an emergency or disaster had happened when they saw a large police presence.

But they stuck around after hearing Camilla was visiting, and said the performances inside sounded enjoyable.

'I would like to dance with those other people but I'm a senior. I'm a little bit excited to go in there and see if I can do a holiday course," Ruth said.


"We have no Royals of course," Wolffradt said.

Prince Charles's visit Tawa College started with a fearsome haka and finished with a round of applause.

Selfies with the prince were a no-no, but many pupils snapped him on their mobile phones.