PRINCE Harry got a taste of New Zealand's Stewart Island raw and uncensored last night after he broke his strict schedule to spend the evening at the local pub.
The prince ended up in a packed bar at the South Sea Hotel for Sunday quiz night, and a quiz mistress who pulled no verbal punches.
The visit was kept secret, but the printed notice in the restaurant at the hotel talked of "special guests" who might arrive for the quiz night.
Then there were the overalls-clad police examining the fire extinguisher upstairs in the hotel late in the afternoon, and more police searching in cupboards, under chairs and elsewhere for bombs.
Rumours circulated that Harry intended to turn up for an evening not included in his itinerary, and about 6.30pm, there he was, strolling down Elgin Tce towards the local.
Stewart Island Backpackers owner Vicki Coats is a woman with no shortage of tattoos, a whistle, and a full-on attitude towards being quiz mistress.
She treated the Prince to some choice expletives and enough blasphemous outbursts to rock St Andrew's Anglican Church just up the hill, where the Prince had worshipped earlier in the night.
She posted a picture of her and prince on Facebook, with the caption: "Why do I have my finger up his nose?"
"The Stewart Island quiz is the Stewart Island quiz - it doesn't matter who comes," Ms Coats said.
Toning down the night would not have given him the real experience. The Prince "seemed to enjoy himself", she said, and she had a few chats with him during the two hours he spent at the pub.
British reporter Emily Nash, of The Sun, tweeted that the night was hilarious. "Prince Harry's team was beaten in the pub quiz by his bodyguards."
Yesterday was the second day of Harry's NZ visit, and he charmed his way into the hearts of many southerners.
Earlier in the day, he first visited Invercargill, where at the museum he met his namesake Henry, a tuatara more than 110 years old.
After flying to Stewart Island, he went straight to the community centre. About 80 members of community groups were inside to meet him, and 100 others were outside to catch a glimpse. The groups accounted for roughly half the island's population.
There, he tried his hand at shucking oysters, and handed one to an admirer to taste.
One of the youngest members in the crowd was 12-year-old Angus Kenny, who is a member of the Stewart Island Bowls Club.
Meeting the Prince was "pretty cool", he said.
"He's more down-to-earth than I thought he would be."
While there, Harry had the opportunity to try his hand at shucking oysters, and he handed one to a member of the crowd to have a taste.
From there, the Prince was whisked off to one of the country's most spectacular remote islands - the pest-free Ulva Island.
The sanctuary is home to native plants and wildlife, and it was not long before he was greeted by a weka.
"There are birds here that are unique to this island?" Harry asked Department of Conservation rangers. "Wow, that's something."
The Prince was given a guided tour of part of the island, stopping to learn how to set a rat trap and to meet members of the Ulva Island Charitable Trust.
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