Prince Charles given a early taste of royal tour
Apparently, the folks on the other side of the world couldn't wait for Prince Charles and Camilla to visit them next month, so they sent a delegation to drop in on him in London's St. James's Palace.
The trip is part of Charles' commitment to Diamond Jubilee tours during this 60th year of the Queen's reign. He was last in Australia and New Zealand in 2005 and visited Papua New Guinea in 1984.
During the preview at the Palace, Charles and Camilla were entertained by dancers performing the traditional Maori haka of New Zealand and by Australian-born pop singer Kylie Minogue. Charles picked up the cues right away, already being well versed in the traditional Maori greeting (right, with Bruce Simpson of the Ngati Ranana London Maori Club).
One of the special treats for J.R.R. Tolkien fan Charles during this tour will be visiting with Peter Jackson, director of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. The prince will be touring the workshops in New Zealand where Jackson has done the special effects for his next Tolkien project, "The Hobbit."
New Zealand is also where Charles will be spending his 64th birthday on Nov. 14, the same day that a partial solar eclipse will cast its shadow. Sixty-four Kiwis who are also celebrating their birthday are invited to a party in his honour.
The tour starts in Papua New Guinea on Nov. 3, heads to Australia for Nov. 5-10 and winds up in New Zealand for six days. It will be Camilla's first visit to that part of the world.
A traditional Papua New Guinean drummer performs for Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall during a reception for prominent Papua New Guineans, Australians and New Zealanders living in the UK. (Getty Images)
Australian pop singer Kylie Minogue meets Prince Charles and Camilla after performed a few songs during a reception for prominent Papua New Guineans, Australians and New Zealanders living in the UK. (AFP/Getty Images)