South Asian Insider
Opinion and Editorial
Queen phones to check in on New Zealand as lockdown is slowly lifted
New Zealand’s Prime Minister revealed she took a call from the Queen to check in on how the country is coping as it begins to emerge from lockdown. Jacinda Ardern said she spoke with Her Majesty on Tuesday, after receiving a ‘wee note’ saying the monarch wished to ‘catch up and see how everyone in New Zealand was getting on in the midst of Covid-19’. The Queen, 94, is the country’s sovereign, but no longer carries out overseas visits so last travelled there in her Golden Jubilee year of 2002. Ms Ardern described the call as ‘such a treat’, saying on Instagram: ‘Her affection for New Zealand, her interest in what’s happening here and her memory of places and events that are special to us never ceases to amaze me.’ The Queen welcomed Ms Ardern, who was then pregnant with her daughter Neve, to Buckingham Palace during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London in 2018. MetroUK/New Zealand is edging ever closer to something resembling normality with each passing day after easing some of its restriction measures amid dwindling numbers of infections. Ms Ardern placed the country in total lockdown within a month of the first reported coronavirus case on February 28. Schools were closed along with most businesses, and people were only allowed to leave home for essential work, to get groceries or to exercise.
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