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NZ Royal Visit: I was behind the scenes with the royals!

I’ve just finished quite possibly the most incredible week of my life!

I’ve been working with Tourism New Zealand on the first visit of the cutest royals around – William, Kate and baby George.

Our role was to help get New Zealand on the media map by facilitating the UK press pack, inviting them to events and I was also writing a daily article on the tour.

So, you’ve seen all the photos that made the newspapers, here are mine from behind the scenes of the huge machine that runs a royal tour.

Powhiri at Government House

Welcome to New Zealand! The Powhiri at Government House

Royal Visit NZ

The rain comes down while the media scurry to upload images from Government House grounds

Blenheim Royal Visit NZ

The crowds fill Seymour Square, Blenheim to catch a glimpse

Blenheim Royal Visit NZ

Kindy kids have made crowns and sit on their parents shoulders

Royal Visit NZ

News reporters film pieces to camera (PTC’s) waiting for the royals

Royal Visit NZ Blenheim

And they’re off. Next stop Omaka to meet Sir Peter Jackson

Royal Visit NZ Omaka

William holds the umbrella as he and Kate walk from Omaka museum to see the old war planes

Royal Visit NZ Omaka

William climbed into this plane, a Sopwith Pup called Peggy while Kate looks on and Sir Peter Jackson takes a pic on his phone

Uploading images Royal Visit NZ

Photos are taken and need to be edited and uploaded quick smart

Avantidrome Royal Visit NZ

The press wait for the royals at Avantidrome in Cambridge

Royal Visit NZ Avanti bike

Kate is presented with a tiny Lycra shirt and this little bike for George

Press Association Royal Visit NZ

The photographers face the action while Press Association writer Alan Jones gets his copy out at the Avantidrome


Tourism New Zealand took the media to Hobbiton for a dinner and the opening night of their new night tours

Hobbiton beer

They serve their own Hobbit brew here: South Farthing ale. It’s great!

America's Cup Auckland Royal Visit NZ

In Auckland Kate and William’s yachting clothes are loaded onto the boat for their America’s Cup race in the harbour

America's Cup challenge Royal Visit NZ

After their briefing the teams pose for a pic. Team Kate and America’s Cup skipper Dean Barker will race Team Wills with CEO Grant Dalton

Royal Visit NZ America's Cup Auckland

Sadly for Team Wills, there is no prize for 2nd place!

Royal Airforce 757

Today I flew with the royals, their entourage and the media in this Royal New Zealand Air Force 757 from Wellington to Dunedin. Excited much!

NZ Airforce

Ever security conscious I noticed the toilet cisterns at the Air Force terminal are sealed

Royal Visit NZ

We boarded ahead of the royals through the back door

Royal Airforce 757

I’m 2 seats from the curtains behind which are Kate and William’s travelling party, then in the very front, they sit.

Royal Airforce 757

The head rest on Royal New Zealand Airforce 757

Royal Airforce 757

And we’re off!

Royal media selfie

A cheeky press pack selfie with James and his spooky eye in the foreground.

RNZAF breakfast

Breakfast is served! Not sure what the royals had… Probably not this.

RNZAF royal teapot

The silver teapot going up the front…

Filming on RNZAF

Filming a piece to camera onboard the RNZAF 757

Dunedin Royal welcome

Unfortunately only the 6 pool media were allowed off to film while we all waited onboard for the welcome ceremony to finish. Just as well I’m not an official photographer!

Forsyth Barr Rippa Rugby

Off to a Rippa Ruggy tournament at the Forsyth Barr Stadium – complete with royal cupcakes

Forsyth Barr royal cheese

Aside from the mini tournament there were royal treats at a mini market in the stadium

Royal Hercules flight

Then we were off on the Hercules to Queesntown!

Onboard Hercules

Listening to crew instructions

Selfie on Hercules

Cheeky Hercules selfie!

Hercules royal visit

Unloading out the back and off to the Shotover River

Press editing on bus, royal tour,

Editing on the bus as we go to the Shotover Jet

Christchurch royal day

Next stop Christchurch where the media wait to do their pieces to camera when the royals walk into view

Sir Richard Hadlee royal tour

Sir Richard Hadlee runs a little coaching session with the kids while we wait

Royal cricket Christchurch

Looking smashing in red, here they come as the crowds cheer

Kate playing cricket

Kate takes the bat in her killer heels while William bowls – and aims a full toss at her head!

Prince William cricket Christchurch

Now it’s William’s turn as Richard Hadlee wicket-keeps. All to highlight the opening match of the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup which will be played in Christchurch.

These were my best pics of the tour, most taken on my iPhone, so please forgive the quality, but I thought you might like a sneak peek.


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Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!