Prince Charles upped his popularity stakes during his royal tour of New Zealand when he congratulated the national team on their recent Rugby World Cup win. The 66-year-old also joked that he was in trouble – because next week he is set to visit the losing team Australia.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we just travelled 11,683 miles to come here to congratulate the best rugby team in the world," Charles, who was accompanied by his wife the Duchess of Cornwall, told crowds who had congregated outside Parliament in Wellington city.
"But, ladies and gentlemen, what the hell am I going to say to the Aussies next week?" he joked.
"We just travelled 11,683 miles to come here to congratulate the best rugby team in the world," said Prince Charles
Before making his speech, Charles and Camilla, 68, personally congratulated the rugby team, their captain Richie McCaw and the All Blacks coach Steve Hansen in Parliament's foyer.
"It was a wonderful tournament," Richie told the Prince, with his winning medal around his neck.
Alongside thousands of rugby fans, Charles and Camilla then watched as the squad set off for the final leg of their welcome home tour. Richie, who was clutching the Webb Ellis trophy, led his team out for the victory parade and received deafening cheers as he stepped out.
Charles and Camilla met captain Richie McCaw and the All Blacks coach Steve Hansen
Last Saturday New Zealand became the first nation to win successive World Cup titles when they beat Australia in a thrilling final at Twickenham. Charles' son Prince Harry, who is honorary president of England 2015, presented Richie with the trophy.
At an earlier point of the New Zealand tour, Charles did admit that he was glad the All Blacks one – a demonstration of their "sporting prowess".
"Secretly I did think they were going to win all the time," the Prince admitted
"I'm so relieved New Zealand won the Rugby World Cup," said Charles. "Otherwise I was slightly anxious of what I was going to find when I got here – a nation in total gloom. Anyway, by the time we get to Australia hopefully they've got over it."
"Secretly I did think they were going to win all the time," Charles added to the 100 or so dignitaries attending the state reception at Government House in Wellington. "How they do it? I don't know. It's a great demonstration of sporting prowess."