19 October 2021

Queen exclaims ‘Ah there you are’ as New Zealand’s governor-general appears on call

19 October 2021

The Queen has held a virtual audience with the new governor-general of New Zealand, giving a little exclamation of surprise when Dame Cindy Kiro appeared on the screen.

The monarch raised her finger in the air and remarked “Ah there you are” as the call began.

She welcomed Dame Cindy, the first indigenous woman appointed to the role, with “Good evening.”

Dame Cindy, who was speaking from Government House in Wellington, replied: “Good morning.”

The Queen smiled and said: “Oh, of course, it’s good morning, isn’t it, to you?”

She described the governor-general designate’s swearing-in on Thursday as a “big day”.

Dame Cindy added: “It will be a big day. Something that you’ve gone through many times, with many governor-generals.”

Dame Cindy Kiro, Governor General Designate of New Zealand, talking to the Queen (Government House New Zealand/PA)

The Queen – the nation’s longest reigning monarch who is also Queen of New Zealand – chuckled and said: “Indeed I have, yes.”

During the audience on Monday, the Queen invested Dame Cindy with the Insignia of a Dame Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, and of a Companion of The Queen’s Service Order of New Zealand.

In 2003, Dame Cindy became the first woman, and Maori, to be appointed as children’s commissioner, and was appointed as a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to child wellbeing and education in the New Year Honours 2021.

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