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Royal no-show for Sir Ed Hillary
MEDIA RELEASE: 18 January 2008
"The Republican Movement is disappointed it appears no-one from the British Royal Family is attending Sir Edmund Hillary's state funeral" said Lewis Holden, chair of the Republican Movement of Aotearoa New Zealand.
A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman quoted by One News has stated it is unlikely anyone from the Royal Family will attend. The report also indicated that the Governor-General, Anand Satyanand, will be representing the Queen at the state ceremony.
"Since Sir Edmund Hillary was personally awarded Knight of the Garter by the Queen, this decision is very disappointing. This national day of mourning is the sort of occasion where the presence of New Zealand's head of state would be appropriate. The absence of the Royal Family shows plainly they are not able to do the job for New Zealand" said Mr Holden.
"This is also the perfect illustration of the Governor-General's role - they exist to do the Royals job for them in their absence. Sir Edmund Hillary's funeral is precisely the kind of occasion for which a New Zealand head of state would appropriately express the feelings of the New Zealand people" concluded Mr Holden.