Cheeky feathers outshine Camilla’s regal attire on New Zealand visit


Wellington (dpa) – The Duchess of Cornwall looked fittingly regal in a royal blue coat and tan heels, but her clothes were bound to be outshone by the feather and velvet wearing models at the zany World of Wearable Art Museum in New Zealand on Saturday.

The fabulously attired models, one dressed in a “frockatoo,” a cheeky dress made of feathers in a celebration of the white Australian parrot, the cockatoo, the other dressed in a “baroque living room” gown and lampshade headdress, made even the Duchess of Cornwall look under dressed.

Camilla chatted freely while at the museum, expressing concern that Wellington model Sophie Pentley might be feeling the heat in the baroque gown, the Stuff website reported. The outfit, made from velvet, braid, tassels and fringing, was more comfortable than it looked, Pentley told her.

The duchess was on a solo engagement at the museum, while Prince Charles peered into microscopes at the Cawthron Institute as he learned about efforts being made to make the seafood industry more sustainable.

When told the institute had named the second New Zealand scampi to be born in captivity after Camilla, he quipped “Are you sure it’s female?”

Thousands of locals had earlier turned out to welcome the royal couple to the South Island city of Nelson, known as sunny Nelson for its benign climate.

Local woman Jane Leaning was one of those lining the street hoping to greet the royal couple on their walkabout. Describing herself as a “real royalist,” Leaning was wearing a t-shirt featuring a photo of Charles’s son Prince William and his wife Kate, festooned with badges celebrating the royal family.

The prince was later flown to the city of Westport to meet military personnel involved in a month-long multi-national war game exercise, which is based on unrest in a fictional South Pacific country.

Dressed in army camouflage uniform, Charles shook hands and chatted with some of the 2,000 navy, air force and army personnel involved in the training exercise, who have come to New Zealand from Australia, Canada, Fiji, France, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Britain and the United States.

Prince Charles said he was glad the military was taking the threat that climate change posed to political stability seriously, Stuff reported.

“One of the reasons, I’ve been trying to go on about climate change for so long is unfortunately it’s a threat multiplied.”

“The fact that you’re practising all this is obviously going to be of enormous importance.”

The Duchess of Cornwall, meanwhile, returned to the capital city, Wellington, to visit the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The royal couple are in New Zealand until November 10 when they leave for Australia.