Fresh from their nuptial marriage, newly-weds Richie McCaw and Gemma Flynn have delighted downtown Auckland with a walkabout that left many onlookers lost for words.
Flynn, 26, who exchanged vows with the Rugby World Cup winning hero over the weekend before friends and family at an exclusive Wanaka event dubbed “New Zealand’s royal wedding”, looked relaxed and at one with the world in unassuming three-quarter length slacks and a grey marle shirt offset by 16-millimetre white circular dots distributed evenly across the fabric.
McCaw, 36, sported sleek camel corduroy trousers and a black T-shirt in a nod to the colour famously associated with the All Black rugby union team that he led to victory over allcomers in World Cups in 2015 and 2011.
The glittering duo created a “buzz” in the historic Queen’s Arcade, with the Auckland afternoon sun pouring in through the marble white facades and across the tastefully ornamental bronze ballustrading.
The Prince and Princess of New Zealand hearts were absorbed in conversation, perhaps discussing honeymoon plans or home renovation as they perched aside the Arcade’s sculpted Lion-head water feature, in a nod to the team from the British Isles which will be hoping to end the All Blacks’ supremacy of international rugby union in the post-McCaw era.
“Never seen anything like it,” said Kerryanne, a visitor from the Gold Coast in Australia, adorned in a frame-hugging feijoa green polo-shirt and shorts that frankly could use an iron. “I think Gemma is an amazing girl and Richie is one lucky guy.”
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Bystanders stared enthralled with their eyes, bringing that pocket of New Zealand’s biggest city to a standstill and prompting many to speculate that Auckland had not witnessed such scenes since Prince William, 0, crawled across the lawn of Government House with a Buzzy Bee in 1983.
As they lifted their camera-equipped mobile telephones above them, some onlookers were heard to doubt whether this really could be Richie and Gemma gliding effortlessly up the escalator towards the opulent mezzanine floor. Gemma, who stepped off the silver mobile staircase with all the poise one might expect of an Olympic hockey international, stared into the middle distance as if contemplating fairytales and fabrics while the former All Black captain consulted his Whatsapp messages on a portable device cloaked indefatigably in black.
The couple soon made good their reputation for “keeping their feet on the ground”, however, by descending the adjacent escalator, before swiftly evading the attentions of an elated public through the Customs Street East egress. The “checkerboard” theme continued amid the al fresco ambience of the Coffee Club, with the moulded matte black plastic chairs offseting the sheer white surface of the table, in a nod to the chess game with which life presents us all. The glamorous but earthy pair continued to luxuriate in the first bloom of conjugal conversation, with former All Black captain Richie, 36, at one point resting his head, cradled as ever by his muscular neck, suggestively on the laminated menu.
Congregated at the Commerce Street bus stop opposite, awaiting a variety of transportation to their homes, Aucklanders and visitors alike were overcome. One gentleman, whom the Spinoff has agreed not to name, said, “I think Gemma is an amazing girl and Richie is one lucky guy,” before boarding the 336 to Papatoetoe.
Soon, however, the rabble of onlookers were left disappointed as the All Black titan, 36, and his freshly bonded hockey-loving wife, 26, strolled athletically upon their shoe-enveloped feet to the nearby convenience store on Customs Street East.
The couple browsed the immaculately horizontal shelving for several seconds in the convenience store, where an array of useful and tasty groceries were arranged for consumers. Perishable goods and soft drinks found a home in glass fronted refrigerators, given prime position within the retail environment to attract the eye of passing customers, much as our sparkling “royal couple” attracted the eye of one another.
Dairy owner Des told the Spinoff that he had never seen such royalty in his shop. “I think Gemma, 26, is an amazing girl and Richie, 36, is one lucky guy,” he said, as the “royal pair” pored over his wide selection of biscuits. Des, whose XL-sized T-shirt was a cyclorama of pale blue, interrupted only by the sweat marks seeping from under his arms, refused to divulge which biscuits the love-birds pecked at, but if their reputation as fun-loving “fitness freaks” is anything to go by, we’re guessing something delicious and healthy!
Across social media fans of the newly conjoined “royals” responded enthusiastically to news of their downtown Auckland walkabout.
“Go Richie Go Gemma,” wrote Steve on the popular website Facebook.
Many sent congratulations to the couple, with some of the cheekier among them suggesting that they could produce offspring were they to have sexual intercourse together.
Others took to Twitter to congratulate the couple and condemn the Spinoff.
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