You are currently viewing Mayor invites King to Thames
Mayor Sandra Goudie has sent word to Buckingham Palace. File photo: KELLEY TANTAU

Mayor invites King to Thames

Time will tell whether the new monarch King Charles III will accept an invitation to visit Thames, after a letter was sent to the sovereign by the town’s mayor requesting he do a “drive-by’’ while in the country.
While it has not been confirmed the King will visit New Zealand on his first royal tour, Thames-Coromandel Mayor Sandra Goudie said it wouldn’t be far-fetched if he did call in to Thames and pay tribute to Sir Keith Park, the senior RAF officer remembered as being ‘the Defender of London’.
“He was a good, honest Kiwi boy, born and raised in Thames, and he went to England to fight in the war, in the skies, flying planes, and he is credited with winning the Battle of Britain,” Mayor Goudie told The Profile.
“We may not have the monarchy if it wasn’t for what he achieved.”
Earlier this month, the King told New Zealand Governor General Dame Cindy Kiro that he looked forward to coming to New Zealand on an official visit, although he did not know when that would be.
And in a report from the British newspaper, The Times, a royal insider picked New Zealand to be on the King’s list of destinations for his first royal tour.
“One of the added advantages is that, for a whistle-stop tour of New Zealand, we’re only an hour and a half out of Auckland, so it’s not a big ask for him to maybe do a drive-by on his way to Hamilton or Tauranga,” Mayor Goudie said.
But if her invitation to the King was successful, Mayor Goudie – who is not standing for the top job again these elections – said it’d be up to the new mayor to relish in the monarch’s arrival.
“That would be all part of what a new mayor and council and community would have the absolute joy of being able to do,” she said. “I’d just be thrilled to see it come off, and [for them] to pay tribute to Sir Keith Park as well as the Battle of Britain.”
Thames has a statue of Sir Keith Park outside the Civic Centre in Mary St. There is also a reciprocal statue of the war hero in London.
Both Mayor Goudie and Hauraki Mayor Toby Adams were invited to attend New Zealand’s state memorial service for the Queen on September 26, but neither could attend.
Mayor Goudie – who met King Charles III at Government House in Wellington back in 2005 – said she was “grateful” to have been asked to the state memorial service, and that she will keep the invitation as a memento.