On 15 November 2016, the High Commissioner of New Zealand to the United Kingdom, Rt Hon Sir Lockwood Smith KNZM PhD, accompanied by Laura Crone, Second Secretary - New Zealand High Commission, attended the launch of the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy initiative (QCC) at Buckingham Palace. The New Zealand delegation was completed by Anna Turnbull, the daughter of Peter and Sue Turnbull (whose covenant, Mt Terako Covenant, was the first to be established using a special Government fund allocated to the QEII National Trust to support the QCC in New Zealand).
The evening commenced with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh receiving all guests. High Commissioner Smith personally introduced Anna Turnbull to Her Majesty, noting the significance of the Turnbull property to the QCC initiative.
Certificates of QCC Partnership were then presented to High Commissioners during a formal ceremony in which Sir David Attenborough and Rt Hon Sir Christopher Geidt, Private Secretary to Her Majesty, spoke.
During the latter’s speech, Sir Christopher specifically mentioned Anna Turnbull’s attendance and passed on Her Majesty’s best wishes to the Turnbulls and their local community (the 7.8 magnitude earthquake had struck the region the day before).
A QCC highlights film showcasing progress of the initiative throughout the Commonweath was screened during the ceremony and included footage sent over by the QEII National Trust that had been shot at Mt Terako Covenant and our event launching the QCC in New Zealand on 4 November 2016. The Turnbulls, Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy and Hon Maggie Barry were prominent in that film.
At the reception that followed the ceremony, a number of interested attendees approached New Zealand’s display board to better understand New Zealand’s contribution to the QCC.
Laura Crone, standing next to the board for the duration of that reception, was able to speak in detail about New Zealand's contribution. Her Majesty was among those who approached New Zealand’s display board. Laura Crone, joined by Anna Turnbull (in blue), enjoyed speaking to Her Majesty for around a minute.