Wellington Scoop

How to behave at the royal birthday party

News (and image) from Government House
More than 1500 people with birthdays on the same day as Prince Charles — about one in six eligible New Zealanders — applied for an invitation to tonight’s royal birthday party at Government House in Wellington. With the exception of the oldest applicant, the names of the 64 were chosen at random. And like the group they were chosen from, the 64 are of all ages, from 18 to 101 and from throughout New Zealand.

Frequently asked questions for attendees:

Q: Should I (or my guests) bring presents?
A: Thanks but no thanks. It’s your birthday party too! It’s your presence, not your presents, that are required on the day!

Q: Where will the party be held?
A: The party will be held in the ballroom of Government House in Wellington

Q: Will you meet accommodation and travel costs to Government House in Wellington?
A: Guests will have to meet their own travel and accommodation costs.

Q: What is the dress code?
A: Government House will send all those selected a formal invitation that will outline the time of the party, when they need to arrive at Government House (instructions for how to get there) and the dress code.

Q: Do I need to curtsy or bow to Their Royal Highnesses?
A: There are no obligatory codes of behaviour when meeting a member of the Royal Family, but many people wish to observe the traditional forms. For men this is a neck bow (from the head only) whilst women do a small curtsy. Other people prefer simply to shake hands in the usual way.

Q: How should I address Their Royal Highnesses in conversation?
A: On presentation to the Prince of Wales, the correct formal address is “Your Royal Highness” and subsequently ‘Sir’. On presentation to the Duchess of Cornwall, the first address is conventionally ‘Your Royal Highness’ followed by ‘Ma’am’ in later conversation.