Early this spring, novelist Jo Jakeman, 44, knew she was pushing herself hard.
Married to James, 47, who works in prison health care, with twin boys, aged 11, her aim, as she puts it, was to be ‘the best mother I could be’.
She got up at 6am to cook the boys scrambled eggs on toast, even on school days. ‘I wouldn’t let them have cereals because I worried about the sugar content.’
She would then start preparing their dinner. ‘I’d get something in the slow cooker,’ she says. Or she would peel potatoes for a roast. Because she always liked them to have a ‘proper cooked meal’. And this was all before she drove the boys to school, a round trip of about an hour.
She was also working flat out to meet a deadline. A writer of crime fiction, her debut novel, Sticks And Stones, a psychological thriller about how three women take revenge on an abusive man they’ve all been involved with, had been well received when it was published last year. ‘Cracking pace, plenty of twists and some well-judged dark humour,’ said one newspaper review.
Early this spring, novelist Jo Jakeman (pictured recently) knew she was pushing herself hard
And now she was rushing to finish her second, Safe House, about a woman who is not what she seems.
She was also saying yes to all sorts of publicity opportunities. Her diary was filled with personal appearances and talks in places as far from her as Hull and Scotland. She found such events stressful and worried about ‘looking stupid, saying the wrong thing, freezing, not being able to answer a question, that whole imposter syndrome’.
‘If I’m in a room of people, I will come across as confident and outgoing. What people don’t see is that I will then go home and it will take me three days to recover.’
Her idea of a good time was to be ‘in my pyjamas at home with the kids watching something on Netflix’.
Still, back then, she thought it was her duty to get out there —and so she kept saying ‘yes’.
‘I didn’t want to miss an opportunity, didn’t want to look back and think, oh, if only I’d pushed a bit harder.’
So, she said ‘yes’ to a talk to students doing an MA in publishing; ‘yes’ to a panel about violence against women in fiction. And worked through the exhaustion and signs her body was shutting down.
‘I had constant headaches, was bone tired and had terrible insomnia. I would go to bed early, but I’d wake up every hour.’ She cried on trains taking her away from her family in Derby and sat miserably in hotel rooms.
‘I decided that once I’d handed the book in I was going to give myself Fridays off, to lie on the sofa and binge-watch something, because I was feeling so rough. I thought, just keep going for a little bit longer and then I will rest.’
Married to James (pictured), 47, who works in prison health care, with twin boys, aged 11, Jo’s aim, as she puts it, was to be ‘the best mother I could be’
Things snowballed when her son was off school for six weeks with shingles and mumps.
‘So I am trying to be a ‘yes’ person, and I have one son at home, who is miserable, my other son’s still got to be taken to and from school and I am trying to meet my deadline. I could have said to my editor, “I am going to need an extra couple of months.” But I didn’t because I didn’t want to let them down.’
Looking back, she struggles to think herself back into the person who wouldn’t say ‘no’, who went as far as risking her health, because she always says ‘yes’.
‘My son went back to school on the Wednesday and I finished my book on the Thursday and I had a stroke on the Friday.’
We meet in a studio in London where I am struck by how well she looks: glossy blonde hair, joyful red lipstick, huge smile; any suggestion of frailty dismissed by a biker-style leather jacket and Karl Lagerfeld pumps.
‘I didn’t tell anybody about the stroke at first,’ she admits, ‘I thought that’s something older people have.’
Six months on she is much better, she says. But her mouth still has a slight droop and her memory is only recently restored to what it was.
‘I would get really frustrated because I couldn’t remember the words for things. The family made a joke about it, so I wouldn’t feel bad. Like, I couldn’t remember the word for the fridge, so I was calling it the “cold box”.They now call the fridge the “cold box”. The cooker is the “hot box”.’
In retrospect, there were warning signs. She remembers waking up that morning with ‘a blinding headache’ and a pain in her shoulder.
‘I thought it was a trapped nerve. I asked my husband to massage my shoulder but, as soon as he touched it, it was agony. Luckily, he was working from home, so he took the boys to school and I had a shower.
‘I stood for ages in the shower feeling terrible, woozy and really exhausted. Then I got out of the shower and looked in the mirror and my face had drooped to one side.’
‘I’d read about strokes and thought, my voice isn’t too slurred, I can lift up my arms.
‘I thought, I haven’t had a stroke. My husband had come back and I sent him a text saying, “I love you.” He ran up the stairs, and went, “What’s wrong?” And then he looked at my face.’
We called 111. ‘I said I’m not having a stroke. I just need you to tell me everything is fine.’ After describing her symptoms, they said, “We’re sending an ambulance now.” I burst into tears when the paramedics arrived. My blood pressure was sky high and they rushed me into hospital.’
Jo had suffered a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) caused by a loss of blood flow to the brain. Known as a mini-stroke, the symptoms last a short time. These include facial weakness; drooping mouth; arm or leg weakness, speech difficulty, blurred vision and dizziness.
A TIA needs to be treated urgently because sometimes it is the precursor of a major stroke, either within a day or two, or in the months ahead. A TIA can potentially have catastrophic consequences.
Jo says: ‘I just thought everybody was being lovely. I had my own team follow me around the hospital. It wasn’t until later I realised they were worried I was going to have another stroke.’
Back at home, she was given medication to reduce her blood pressure, follow-up tests and a regime of exercises, such as squeezing a ball to help get the feeling back in her right arm.
She describes the weeks after as filled with fear.
‘It really knocked my confidence. For quite a while, if I was going anywhere, I’d want my husband with me, because I was so worried it was going to happen again.’
So what caused it? She had none of the risk factors, such as a family history of strokes or diabetes. Her blood pressure was normal. She had it measured about three months before the stroke. She wasn’t overweight. Nor did she smoke, drink heavily, do drugs, or fall into the higher risk age group: 55 and over.
She says it could have been connected to her going back on the contraceptive pill after several years ‘to regulate my cycle’. Yet experts say the risk of the Pill causing a stroke is very low as long as your other risks are low.
‘Most probably, it was just stress,’ she says.
At 44, a stroke is unusual, yet more first-time strokes are now occurring at an earlier age compared to a decade ago, according to Public Health England. More than a third of strokes happen in middle-aged adults aged 40-49.
Experts aren’t sure why, but cite a rise in younger people with high blood pressure and high cholesterol as likely causes. Lifestyle is often to blame.
‘We know that for some people, stress can increase blood pressure, and high blood pressure is a risk factor for stroke,’ says Davinia Green, head of stroke prevention at the Stroke Association.
‘We know that it is important that you regularly monitor and get help to manage your blood pressure and reduce your risk of stroke and look at ways to reduce your stress levels.’
Jo says: ‘You suddenly think, had I brought it on myself? Had I let my family down, by pushing myself so much I ended up having a stroke?’
Jo was born in Cyprus where her father was in the Army, as an only child. The family moved back to the UK when she was six. They settled in the Midlands where her father joined the police and her mother worked for Rolls-Royce. Her parents were to separate 12 years later.
After graduating from Hull University with a degree in business studies, she worked as a grants officer for the National Lottery in Nottingham.
She met her husband there when she was 24. She says: ‘He was working for Sport England, and came to train us.’
They are polar opposites. ‘He is so even,’ she explains. ‘Excited is only a little bit up and depressed is only a little bit down. I am super-excited or incredibly crushed and depressed. He is a complete extrovert and does all the extrovert stuff for me.’
Jo had suffered health problems before. She had chronic fatigue syndrome in her late 20s, while working as a recruitment consultant and blames the job — ‘it was full on, but I loved it’ — and her mother developing cancer (something her mum still lives with).
She was also diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome in her early 20s, which meant getting pregnant was difficult.
Her twins were conceived via IVF when she was 33. Her devotion to her boys is partly just her approach but also ‘there is a bit of precious child syndrome,’ she says. ‘It took us nine years to have a family, including an ectopic pregnancy and a miscarriage.
‘There was a lot of not believing it was going to happen before I finally held them in my arms.’
She turned to writing when the twins started school and secured a publishing deal after winning the York Festival of Writing competition in 2016. One of Jo’s most attractive qualities is her enthusiasm for other writers.
For example, she is reading I Capture The Castle by Dodi Smith with her boys. ‘I love it!’ Another favourite author is Shonda Rhimes, whose memoir Year Of Yes resonated with Jo.
In the book, she said she was an introvert and described herself ‘hugging the walls’ at social events, and revealed how pushing herself out of her comfort zone and ‘saying yes’ had changed her life. It intensified Jo’s resolve to take chances and put herself out there.
‘She’s achieved so much, she’s such an amazing writer, you would never have guessed she was an introvert. So it made me feel, OK, I am not that strange. I read it, and it was a lightbulb moment. This is what I need to do. I need to be saying “yes” to wonderful opportunities that come up and try not to be so scared of them.’
Of course, it backfired. ‘The difference between Shonda and I is that she knows her limitations and she was kind to herself.’
Jo has now established a living pattern she is happy with. Quiet writing periods interspersed with time for herself and for family and friends. She works hard but isn’t as desperate to please or impress. Most important, she has learned to say no.
‘I now mainly do local events and instead of doing an event on my own, I do it with other people because I don’t want the pressure of it just being me.’
Her boys now only get a cooked breakfast on a Sunday. ‘The rest of the week they help themselves to toast or cereal and nobody cares. They don’t think I’m a terrible mother. They are perfectly happy if they have a fishfinger sandwich for tea.
‘I wanted to be the best wife, the best mum, the best writer, the best friend and, actually, I was having too high standards and wasn’t being the best at any of those things.
‘Now I say “yes” to looking after myself, rather than “yes” to the whole world and their needs. I am doing what’s right for me, rather than what’s right for anyone else.’
Safe House by Jo Jakeman (£12.99, Harvill Secker, and 99p as an ebook on Amazon in November).
Robin Hillis says she works out SIX times a week to maintain her 14 stone frame
A grandmother-of-three has revealed how bodybuilding has given her a new lease of life – as well as a fourteen stone frame and seventeen inch biceps.
Correctional officer Robin Hillis, 48, from Ontario, Canada, loved sports at school and when she left high school in 1989, she joined a gym to maintain her fitness and soon fell in love with weightlifting.
Before taking up the sport Robin was shy, but bodybuilding gave her a new lease of life and in 1993 and weighing 9st 9lb, she competed in her first bodybuilding competition and placed second.
Robin kept in shape during and after her pregnancies with her daughters, Katey, 23, and Courtney, 21, who, along with Robin’s grandchildren, Abel, 3, Avianna, 2, and Wynter, 1, are her biggest supporters and encourage her to be the best she can be.
She now weighs 14st 4lb at 5ft 9in and sports 17in biceps, trains six days a week when prepping for a show and five days a week in off-season. Robin competes twice a year and says that bodybuilding has taught her self-belief.
Robin Hillis, 48, from Ontario, Canada, has revealed how bodybuilding has given her a new lease of life – as well as a fourteen stone frame and seventeen inch biceps
Robin kept in shape during and after her pregnancies with her daughters, Katey, 23, and Courtney, 21, who, along with Robin’s grandchildren, pictured, Abel, 3, Avianna, 2, and Wynter, 1, are her biggest supporters and encourage her to be the best she can be
Robin juggled motherhood and bodybuilding around her children as they grew up and they loved to watch her in competitions and cheer her on from the side lines.
The grandmother of three receives largely positive reactions to her impressive physique and she says that having children shouldn’t make it harder to achieve such results.
In 2014, Robin earned her IFBB (International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness) pro card and she now competes in the professional league all over the world.
In 2014, Robin earned her IFBB (International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness) pro card and she now competes in the professional league all over the world
Robin competes twice a year and says that bodybuilding has taught her self-belief
‘I was tall and skinny but very athletic. I was an average student but I grew up playing basketball, volleyball, running track, baseball,’ said Robin.
‘After high school I didn’t want to get out of shape so joined a gym and fell into bodybuilding and was addicted right away.
‘Before this I was quiet, shy and a bit awkward with normal insecurities kids have.
‘Now I love how I look and feel. I am very confident and enjoy life and still love to laugh. I get a mixed variety of reactions but mostly positive. I rarely get negative comments on my social media or in person.
Robin makes time for her children and grandchildren before having her fifth and final meal of the day which is a cup of egg whites, one whole egg, spinach and avocado before spending 20 minutes on the treadmill and going to bed
She now weighs 14st 4lb at 5ft 9in and sports 17in biceps, trains six days a week when prepping for a show and five days a week in off-season
Robin doesn’t count calories but has five meals a day in between her training sessions
Continuing her busy day, she walks her dog, Ping, seen, before having her fourth meal which is five ounces of fish or chicken with cucumbers and rice if she is off season
‘I don’t think it’s harder to achieve these results after having children but it also depends on everyone’s hormonal profile, metabolism and lifestyles.
‘Yes I do hope to be an inspiration to mums and grans and I also hope I inspire younger girls to do what they love and not pay attention to people’s opinions. I hope I inspire everyone to love themselves and do what makes them happy.’
Robin doesn’t count calories but has five meals a day in between her training sessions.
A typical day consists of waking up at 6am and doing high intensity fasted cardio for 20 minutes, followed by her first meal of the day which is a cup of egg whites, two whole eggs and spinach.
The grandmother of three receives largely positive reactions to her impressive physique and she says that having children shouldn’t make it harder to achieve such results (seen with her daughters in 2010)
For cheat meals, Robin loves to indulge in chocolate and sushi, she spoke about how her family has supported her and how she managed motherhood with a strict training schedule
A typical day consists of waking up at 6am and doing high intensity fasted cardio for 20 minutes, followed by her first meal of the day which is a cup of egg whites, two whole eggs and spinach
Her second meal is five ounces of chicken, cucumbers, sugar free ketchup and spices; then Robin goes to the gym, trains, does 12 minutes of steady state cardio, practices posing, sits in the sauna for up to 10 minutes before having her third meal which is five ounces of steak and three ounces of yams.
Continuing her busy day, she walks her dog, Ping, before having her fourth meal which is five ounces of fish or chicken with cucumbers and rice if she is off season.
After this Robin makes time for her children and grandchildren before having her fifth and final meal of the day which is a cup of egg whites, one whole egg, spinach and avocado before spending 20 minutes on the treadmill and going to bed.
For cheat meals, Robin loves to indulge in chocolate and sushi, she spoke about how her family has supported her and how she managed motherhood with a strict training schedule.
Her second meal is five ounces of chicken, cucumbers, sugar free ketchup and spices; then Robin goes to the gym, trains, does 12 minutes of steady state cardio, practices posing, sits in the sauna for up to 10 minutes before having her third meal which is five ounces of steak and three ounces of yams
Before taking up the sport Robin was shy, but bodybuilding gave her a new lease of life and in 1993 (SEEN) and weighing 9st 9lb, she competed in her first bodybuilding competition and placed second.
Robin juggled motherhood and bodybuilding around her children as they grew up and they loved to watch her in competitions and cheer her on from the side lines
Robin says that body building has given her self-belief
‘My girls are on their own now as they are 21 and 23 with their own families. But when they were younger, I would go to the gym when they were in school or bed and prep my meals before they woke up,’ she said.
‘I didn’t want to take any time from them so prioritised and kept a tight schedule that didn’t interfere with our time.
‘When my girls were young, they came to every show with me and would scream ‘mom’. They would help with my hair, come to the gym with me, and encourage me to keep going.
‘I had a rough time building my legs as I am about 5ft 9in so I had to change my mental approach to training them. Meaning I needed to grow some balls and train harder.
‘It has taught me patience as it takes time to achieve your goals, and to be persistent when trying to achieve your goals. Lastly it has taught me to believe in myself.
‘To anyone who wants to give it a go, seek out help, read and educate yourself, and most importantly be consistent.’
Robin works out six days a week on season and five days a week off season
Robin always makes time for her family, here she is pictured with her grandchildren, Abel, Avianna and Wynter
Robin works hard to achieve her impressive results
Pictured: Robin is seen at the gym with a workout pal
Jeffrey Epstein victims’ lawyer Gloria Allred says Prince Andrew should now testify
Prince Andrew should now testify to the FBI following his bombshell BBC interview, the lawyer representing some of Jeffrey Epstein victims has claimed.
Gloria Allred called on the Duke of York to be quizzed under oath by US investigators as they probe the billionaire paedophile and accusations he sex trafficked girls.
She also demanded the prince explain how he failed to spot underage women staying at Epstein’s homes while he himself was visiting the properties.
Among the victims that Ms Allred represents is Virginia Roberts, who claims she had sex with Andrew on three occasions, including twice when she was underage.
The Duke completely refuted any wrongdoing in a BBC interview with Emily Maitlis on Saturday night.
But he was widely condemned by critics who claimed he showed a unsympathetic tone and a lack of remorse for his friendship with Epstein.
Among the victims that Ms Allred represents is Virginia Roberts (centre), who claims she had sex with Andrew on three occasions, including twice when she was underage
Speaking to Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain, Ms Allred criticised the Prince for a lack of empathy for Epstein’s victims.
She said: ‘I would like Prince Andrew to really feel what these victims was suffered, because he seemed to hardly mention the victims and how they were harmed.
‘I don’t see how he could have not known that Mr Epstein was around underage minors because he visited several of his homes were they were.
‘Why didn’t he ask the right questions, “Why are you here, why aren’t you in school?”
‘I guess if he didn’t want to see them he could have not seen them but I don’t know how he couldn’t know when there were so many of them there.
‘Now he’s been in the court of public opinion, he should testify to the FBI.’
Ms Allred slammed the prince for describing Epstein’s behaviour as ‘unbecoming’, claiming she was ‘disturbed’ by his failure to truly condemn Epstein’s actions.
US lawyer Spencer Kulvin, who represents a woman who claims she was a victim of Epstein, told Radio 4’s Today programme Andrew should come forward to help the on-going investigation into the disgraced American financier.
Speaking to Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain, Ms Allred criticised the Prince for a lack of empathy for Epstein’s victims
It was his first public grilling on the subject, the interview of his life in fact, but he was on home turf at least, not in some harshly lit BBC studio
Prince Andrew taking a stroll through New York’s Central Park with Epstein following his prison term in 2011
Mr Kulvin said: ‘As a lawyer I was rather shocked that he would go on camera like this because anything he says can be utilised in a cross examination of him later, should he choose to come forward, and actually, in an official capacity, allow himself to be interviewed by the US authorities – which I believe he should do.
‘I don’t think there’s any way that a man who’s been to all three of Mr Epstein’s homes could avoid seeing what was going on in those homes, with people going in and out and young girls being shuttled in and out of those homes.’
Andrew twice stated his relationship with Epstein had provided ‘seriously beneficial outcomes’, giving him the opportunity to prepare for a future role as a trade envoy.
He cast doubt on the authenticity of a picture that appears to show Andrew with his arm around the waist of Mrs Giuffre, when a teenager.
He expressed regret at making contact with Epstein in 2010 – flying to New York to say in person the friendship was over – after the 66-year-old had been released from an 18-month prison term for prostituting minors.
Prince Andrew told friends he ‘regretted’ not expressing sympathy for Jeffrey Epstein’s victims in his disastrous TV interview
Prince Charles and Camilla welcomed with a traditional haka in New Zealand
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were welcomed to New Zealand with an official Maori haka after rounding off a busy first day of engagements in Auckland.
Charles, 71, and Camilla, 72, undertook a whirlwind tour of Auckland during the first day of their eight day trip to the country, with engagements including meeting children at a local community centre and laying a wreath at Mount Roskill War Memorial.
The royals rounded off their busy first day with an official Maori welcome in the form of a haka while attending the Queen’s Colour Ceremony at the RNZAF Whenuapai Airbase in Auckland.
It is the couple’s third visit to the country, after visiting in 2012 to mark the Diamond Jubilee and again in 2015, and comes as the fall-out continues over Prince Andrew’s ‘car crash’ BBC Newsnight interview.
Prince Charles, 71, and the Duchess of Cornwall, 72, were welcomed to New Zealand with a busy first day of engagements during an eight day royal tour
The Haka was performed for the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at the Queen’s Colour ceremony at Whenuapai Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) base, as they rounded off a busy first day of engagements during the royal visit to New Zealand.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall receives a hongi from an elder as she and Prince Charles visit the Wesley Community Centre during their royal visit to New Zealand in Auckland. The visit will be part of a week-long tour of the country which also takes in Christchurch and Kaikoura
The royals started their day by visiting the Mount Roskill War Memorial where they paid their respects and took part in a wreath laying ceremony in the Mount Roskill neighbourhood of Auckland.
The first full day of the tour to New Zealand began on a solemn note, as the couple paid tribute to those who had served the country at the Mount Roskill War Memorial.
Crowds peeked through the trees at the suburban Auckland site, while Charles laid a wreath with the message ‘in solemn remembrance’ on the cairn.
The site also contains a memorial to men from the Pacific island Niue who fought alongside the 3rd Maori Contingent in the First World War, with 150 men having departed for Auckland on the SS Te Anau on October 13, 1915.
Prince Charles prepares to lay a wreath at the Mount Roskill War Memorial Park in Auckland, New Zealand, on the first day of their royal tour
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall attend a wreath laying ceremony at Mount Roskill War Memorial in Auckland, on the first day of the royal visit to New Zealand
Prince Charles laid a wreath at the cairn, south west of Auckland, which was renovated in 2015 for the Centenary of the First World War
The Prince of Wales seemed overcome with emotion during the service. Charles and Camilla are on their third visit to New Zealand
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall meet representatives of the Niue Aotearoa Community at Mt Roskill War Memorial today
Following the solemn ceremony, Prince Charles waved to crowds who had gathered to catch a glimpse of the royals during their eight day visit to the country
The Prince of Wales shook hands as he met with local people following the wreath laying ceremony in Auckland earlier this morning
The Duchess of Cornwall appeared in high spirits as she met with members of the public during a visit to the Mt Roskill War Memorial Park in Auckland
Members of the city’s Niue community sung a medley of traditional songs from the country before the arrival, and gave the royal visitors gifts.
Dorothy Sietu gave the couple a bedsheet which she had made herself.
‘It’s king size,’ she said of the sheet after meeting the royal party.
They were also given a hat and table mat by Sina Utalo Panama, whose grandfather Fakalagakai Falani served as a private. ‘In our community we say things with our heart,’ she said.
Prince Charles and Camilla meet members of the Royal New Zealand Army following a wreath laying ceremony at Mt Roskill War Memorial
The Prince of Wales waves to members of the public as he attends a wreath laying ceremony at Mount Roskill War Memorial in Auckland
The Duchess of Cornwall was presented with a posy as she attended the wreath laying ceremony in Auckland alongside Prince Charles
After the first day of royal engagements, the British royals will travel to Christchurch on the country’s South Island to observe the regeneration of the city since the 2011 earthquake
They will also go to see how the community in Christchurch has rallied in the aftermath of the March 15 terrorist attacks
The Prince of Wales appeared to be all smiles after attending the wreath laying ceremony at Mount Roskill War Memorial in Auckland
Following the wreath laying at Mount Roskill War Memorial, the couple went on to Wesley Community Centre, where they met with staff members of Auckland Council Michael Matheson and Infay Wong See.
The couple were welcomed to the centre with a Maori Mihi whakatau or greeting.
Another gift Camilla received on Monday was a golden wreath of Cadbury’s Crunchie bars at the Wesley Community Centre from five-year-old Joelle Leilua.
Charles laughed as he rearranged her garland, which had been made by the Kidzone programme; they had selected gold to signify the royal couple.
Joelle Leilua, 5, presented the Duchess of Cornwall with a golden wreath of Cadbury’s Crunchie bars at the Wesley Community Centre
One little girl appeared to take a shining to the Duchess of Cornwall, with the two embracing during her visit to the Wesley Community Centre
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall watches craft activities as she and Prince Charles visit the Wesley Community Centre during their royal visit to New Zealand in Auckland
Prince Charles appeared undeterred by the rainy weather during his visit to the Wesley Intermediate School in Auckland as he chatted to locals
Meanwhile the Duchess of Cornwall, 72, was seen enjoying a cuddle while she appeared to bond with one little girl during the visit to the community centre in Auckland
Prince Charles also appeared to share a joke with local schoolchildren during his visit to the school in Auckland on the first official day of his royal tour of New Zealand
One schoolgirl appeared particularly charmed by the royal as he was seen sharing a joke with local children during a visit to the school
The royal appeared to share a joke as he visited Critical Design, an Auckland based company that manufactures a range of office and homeware products from recycled materials, during a visit to a local school
The Prince of Wales looks at products made out of plastic waste during a visit to Critical Design, an Auckland based company that manufactures a range of office and homeware products from recycled materials, at Wesley Intermediate School in Auckland
Prince Charles appeared in high spirits as he visited Critical Design, an Auckland based company that manufactures a range of office and homeware products from recycled materials at Wesley Intermediate School
The Prince of Wales shared a smile with local people as he shook hands with local people at the Wesley Community Centre in Auckland
Meanwhile the Duchess of Cornwall was seen helping out local women in the kitchen as she grabbed a rolling pin at the Wesley Community Centre
The royal appeared charmed by local women as she joined a crafts session at the community centre in Auckland on the first day of her royal visit
The Duchess of Cornwall showed off the results of her arts and crafts session during her visit to the Wesley Community Centre in Auckland
The royal received a hongi from an Elder as he and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall visit the Wesley Community Centre during their royal visit to New Zealand in Auckland
The couple posed for a snap as they visited the Wesley Community Centre in Auckland during their eight day tour of the country
The royal couple sign a guest book before the reception during the first day of their tour of New Zealand yesterday
A group of male dancers entertained the couple, before they met other users of the centre, and Charles met Richard Barter who runs Bike Kitchen which repairs donated bikes and gives them to local families.
Charles was particularly taken with his little Shih Tzu Chino who had been given a bath ‘specially for the royal visit’.
For there, Prince Charles visited Critical Design, a Social Enterprise focused on achieving environmental sustainability through waste reduction and creating local employment opportunities.
It uses innovative technology to turn plastic waste into material that can be used to manufacture other products.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall during a wine tasting at a visit to The Hunting Lodge Winery in Auckland, on the first day of the royal visit to New Zealand
Prince Charles tasting a white wine at the Hunting Lodge Winery in Auckland, New Zealand, on the first day of the royal visit of New Zealand
Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Dutches of Cornwall during a wine tasting at Hunting Lodge Winery in Auckland, New Zealand
Charles (left) opted for a blend of 75% reisling with pinot gris to finish. New Zealand is famous for its wine production. Pictured right: Camilla at the winery
The winery was the place where the first New Zealand sauvingnon blanc was created after cuttings were imported from California in the 1970s, and the grape is one of the main varieties currently grown on the site
Prince Charles enjoyed a selection of drinks during the wine tasting at Hunting Lodge Winery, an 80-hectare site to the north-west of Auckland on the first day of the couple’s trip to New Zealand
The couple enjoyed the wine tasting while visiting the Hunting Lodge Winery in New Zealand, where they sampled sweet white wine
Prince Charles appeared in high spirits during the visit to the winery as he continued his whirlwind first day of royal engagements in Auckland
The couple appeared animated as they chatted with staff while taking part in a wine tasting and vineyard tour at the Hunting Lodge Winery
The Prince of Wales joined the team at Critical Design as he attempted turning plastic waste into designer furniture.
Rui Peng, co-founder of Auckland recycling firm Critical Design, asked Charles: ‘You’re good at that, do you want a job?’
Mr Peng said: ‘The Prince got quite animated about what we do here. He said he has been advocating this for years, making use of waste plastic is critical for the future.’
He went on to join the Duchess of Cornwall for a wine tasting session at the Hunting Lodge Winery, where they undertook a vineyard tour.
The wine tasting session took place at a winery to the north west of Auckland on the first day of the couple’s eight day tour of New Zealand
Prince Charles opted for a blend of 75% reisling with pinot gris to finish during the wine tasting session on the first day of the couple’s trip to New Zealand
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall pose with the Sutton family during a visit to The Hunting Lodge Vineyar
The winery is the site of the first Sauvignon Blanc Grapes grown in New Zealand and located at the heart of Auckland’s wine country.
The royals were able to sample reisling, pinot grigio and albarino grapes before mixing them to form a blend under the careful eye of winemaker Pete Turner.
The blending process saw Charles and Camilla choosing a grape which they preferred to serve as a base, before other varities were added to enhance the flavour.
Pete said that Charles opted for a blend of 75% reisling with pinot grigio to finish, revealing: ‘It was a chance to introduce them to the concept of blending, creating just a nice zesty, straight-forward white wine that represents New Zealand.
The Duchess of Cornwall greeting a servicewoman at a Queen’s Colour Reception at RNZAF Base Whenuapai in Auckland, New Zealand
The couple rounded off their busy day by visiting the RNZAF Whenuapai Airbase to attend The Queen’s Colour Ceremony, where they were greeted with a hongi
Prince Charles has several military ranks, and was recently named Field Marshal, Admiral of the Fleet and Marshal of the Royal Air Force
The royal greeted Kula Axa Hudson with a Hongi as he rounded off his engagements in New Zealand with the Queens Colour Ceremony
The ceremony saw Charles present the Queen’s Colour at the site 66 years after the Queen performed the same ceremony in December 1953
Prince Charles greets a man in traditional clothes during the reception with members of the Royal New Zealand Air Force
The Prince of Wales watched the Haka is performed at the Queen’s Colour ceremony at Whenuapai Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) base
Local men and women performed the haka as the royal couple rounded off their first day of engagements at the Whenuapai Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) base
Prince Charles and Camilla watched on as local people performed the traditional Maori dance at the end of the first day of their royal tour
The Haka was performed for the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at the Queen’s Colour ceremony at Whenuapai Royal New Zealand Air Force
The royal went on to attend a reception after the Queens Colour Ceremony at Royal New Zealand Air Force Whenuapai Airbase
‘Reisling is a very lemony, zesty, acid-driven style but there is some nice sweetness to it. There’s a lot of intensity to it.’
He added: ‘A little pinot grigio helped round it out. It’s a really nice balanced wine.’
The winery was the place where the first New Zealand sauvingnon blanc was created after cuttings were imported from California in the 1970s, and the grape is one of the main varieties currently grown on the site.
The couple were greeted with a performance of the haka at the air base, with the Prince of Wales beaming as he watched the performance.
The Duchess of Cornwall (left) and Prince Charles arrives at Whenuapai Royal New Zealand Air Force on the first day of their royal visit
Soldiers wait on the runway at Whenuapai, a Royal New Zealand Air Force base, for the royal couple to leave their aircraft
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