Submitted by admin on April 23, 2009 - 01:35
The Duke and Duchess of York, 1927
Like the Prince of Wales, the next Royal visitors, travelled on HMS Renown. This time it was the second son of King George V and Queen Mary, Prince Albert Frederick Arthur George (1895–1952), Duke of York.
The Duke and Duchess of York left England on 6 January 1927 and arrived at Auckland on 22 February. After two days of deep-sea fishing in the Bay of Islands, they returned to Auckland to go by rail and motorcar to Rotorua where the First World War memorial to the Arawas was unveiled. On the way south to Wellington they visited most of the larger North Island towns, with a second rest period when the Royal couple and only a minimum of staff spent two days in trout fishing from a camp at Kowhai Flat, Tokaanu.
At Wellington the Duchess opened the new Karitane Home, which she was to revisit 30 years later on her second tour. Meanwhile the Duke paid an unscheduled visit to workers' homes in the Hutt Valley and was shown over woollen mills. He showed great interest in factories, several of which he inspected in New Zealand. Following a four-day stay at Wellington, the Duke and Duchess boarded Renown for Picton whence they drove to Nelson. It was here that the Duchess was taken ill with tonsilitis and forced to abandon the remainder of her New Zealand itinerary.
The Duke went on alone, travelling by road and rail to the West Coast and Christchurch where he received the freedom of the city. He also had an excursion further afield and visited the southern lakes. The Dunedin programme included the unveiling of the war memorial and the opening of the Sargood now Dunedin, Art Gallery. The Duke then proceeded to Invercargill and Bluff where he joined the Duchess on Renown, departing for Australia on 22 March. Weather conditions were so bad that the transfer to the visiting battleship had to be made by tug and not through HMS Diomede as planned.
On the abdication of Edward VIII in 1936, the Duke and Duchess came to the throne as George VI and Queen Elizabeth.