One shall not forget: When the Queen wasn’t thrilled about her New Zealand tours

The Queen has hosted New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford at Buckingham Palace.

When it comes to the Queen and her tours of New Zealand there are three points the British media never forget.

It’s the “bare bottoms” at pōwhiri, the time eggs were thrown at her, and, shock horror, the time New Zealand made her fly first class rather than on a private plane.

These stories are decades old, but they are regularly recirculated on news websites and by royal writers.

Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Robert Muldoon.
Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Robert Muldoon.

Daily Mail royal correspondent Robert Hardman featured lengthy anecdotes about the Queen’s apparently haphazard tours, in surprising detail.


Hardman said the Queen was “alarmed” to be pelted with eggs, when visiting New Zealand in 1986.

“If there was anything to worry about, it was the situation in New Zealand, where the monarchy was increasingly seen as fair game for the more extreme elements of Maori (sic) protest movement,” he wrote, in his 2018 book Queen and the World.

The Queen's visits to New Zealand often cause controversy in the British press.
The Queen’s visits to New Zealand often cause controversy in the British press.

This week, The Express called the egg throwing “an alarming incident”.

As the new millenium approached, the Queen’s favour fell across the Commonwealth.

Britain was moving to ditch traditional economic ties with its old colonies, in favour of new agreements with European nations.

New Zealanders were, as Hardman hinted, also becoming more aware of the Crown’s ongoing Treaty of Waitangi breaches. Generally, a growing number of Commonwealth subjects looked at the Monarchy without rose-tinted glasses.

Of the egg incident, the LA Times reported: “One egg hit the Queen’s full-length pink coat low on the thigh, while another smashed into the car’s windshield.”

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh visit New Zealand.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh visit New Zealand.

News agency United Press also said: “Native Maori (sic) activists said they planned a ’21-bum salute’ for the Queen later in the visit, to show their strong anti-royal feelings.”

Her next visit in 1995 was just as crazy. Our Government made her fly on a commercial airline, albeit having booked out the entire first class cabin for her. She flew Air New Zealand’s NZ1, London to Auckland via Los Angeles, and it seemed her staff weren’t happy with the arrangement.

Hardman recounted the debacle, saying: “Officials at the Foreign Office in London tried to scupper the idea, arguing that the Queen does not take scheduled flights, ‘for security reasons’. However, as the Queen’s staff at the Palace had to remind the British Government, all things relating to a tour of New Zealand were a matter for her New Zealand Government.”

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