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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Earthquake appeal may get royal wedding gift

Earthquake appeal may get royal wedding gift

Last updated 05:00 12/04/2011
New Zealand's royal wedding gift is likely to be a donation to the Christchurch earthquake appeal.

Prime Minister John Key and wife Bronagh will attend the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey on April 29. Mr Key will have a private audience with the Queen, after which Mrs Key will join them for lunch. He will also meet Prince Charles.

Mr Key has made a final decision on what to give the royal couple from New Zealand and will discuss it with Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand.

But Prince William, who visited Christchurch and Greymouth last month, has stressed that the couple want guests to give money to one of 26 nominated charities. The earthquake appeal is on that list.

Mr Key said: "We are getting closer ... I want to have a discussion with the governor-general because both of us are attending.

"When Prince William was here in New Zealand recently, he reiterated to me that the primary gift they would like is donations to their charities.

"And he was very strong in his view that that is really important to them."

Mr Key confirmed in February that he had received one of 1900 gilt-edged invitations to the April 29 wedding, along with Sir Anand Satyanand and his wife Susan.

It is understood Mrs Key will wear a dress by a New Zealand designer to the wedding at Westminster Abbey.
Mr Key said yesterday he would be meeting British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy while on the trip.

On his itinerary are several business and economic events, some of which are related to earthquake fundraising.
The trip coincides with Anzac Day. Mr Key will attend a dawn service at Hyde Park Corner in London and later at Westminster Abbey.

Two previous trips to Europe, planned for September and rescheduled for March, were cancelled because of the Christchurch earthquakes.

Mr Key said he was looking forward to his talks with the British Government. It is likely he will also meet Chancellor George Osborne.

"In London I will also have an opportunity to thank those who assisted in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake and give impetus to the Christchurch earthquake appeal."

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