Celebrity News

Were William and Kate Snubbed by the Maori King of New Zealand?

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 (Reuters)

The Maori King of New Zealand ain't got no time for William and Kate. He won't even be there to greet the royals when they pass through his neck of the woods on their tour of New Zealand and Australia next month.

Everything's not quite as rude as it sounds, however. Although the office of King Tuheitia confirmed that he declined to meet with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, it's not exactly as if he didn't want to. The royals' schedule just doesn't allow for Tuheitia to give William and Kate a proper welcome as they whiz through the region of Waikato.

"In respect to the status of the Royal Couple, and that of the Rangatira who would gather to pay homage to the couple at Turangawaewae, 60 to 90 minutes was not considered to be'adequate to [honor] the Royal couple appropriately," said a statement released from Tuheitia's office. "The King wanted to give his best to this couple to reflect their status, he was being prevented from doing that."

Another portion of the statement claims that "King Tuheitia agonized over his final decision but felt that other planned visits in Waikato were just as important and he didn't want those visits disadvantaged or affected by his acceptance of the Royal couple at Turangawaewae Marae [the sacred headquarters of the Maori movement]."

But this announcement isn't exactly news to WIlliam and Kate. As explained in Tuheitia's office's statement, his "full reasons for declining the visit were conveyed to the Royal couple in a personal letter from King Tuheitia that was couriered to the Palace several weeks ago."

From the above passages, it's easy to believe that this whole debacle is merely a scheduling issue, and not a personal snub to New Zealand's royal visiters. Yet in one strongly worded portion of the office's remarks, they emphasize that the Maori "are not some carnival act to be rolled out at the beck and call of anyone, and nor should we be prepared to compromise our tikanga [cultural protocol] to fit into a pre-determined schedule."

You got that, William and Kate? Huh?!?

Fortunately, the royals have plenty of other engagements to keep them busy on their tour, including white water rafting in Queenstown and unveiling a portrait of the queen in Wellington.