Prince William and wife Kate Middleton’s visit to Turangawaewae Marae has been cancelled after the Maori King rejected their schedule. King Tuheitia thought the 90-minute visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was not long enough to be respectful.
The British royal couple will visit New Zealand with their son Prince George in April, with King Tuheutua’s marae originally included in their itinerary.
However, before their engagements have been officially announced, their visit to Kingitanga’s seat of power in Ngaruawahia has been canned.
According to reports, the hour-and-a-half engagement that the duke and duchess offered to King Tuheitia was deemed not long enough to be respectful; hence, the Maori king declined their visit.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key believed that the 90-minute engagement was “quite generous” already and even longer than any other meetings the couple have during their tour.
“I think it’s a shame the couple aren’t going, but it’s a decision made solely by King Tuheitia’s people,” Mr Key said.
He added, “My understanding is the palace offered King Tuheitia’s people an opportunity for the Prince to visit. They were offered a 90-minute slot. That was longer than pretty much any other engagement they have and King Tuheitia’s people decided that wasn’t long enough and on that basis, they rejected him actually attending.”
The royal family will tour New Zealand from April 7 to 16, and will include meetings with Mr Key and highly acclaimed filmmaker Sir Peter Jackson.
It will be their first royal tour as a family of three together. They will also visit Australia after their NZ tour.