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Blog: 'Front pack' and swollen feet no impediment to Ardern impressing the world at CHOGM

Four palaces, a whole lot of Jacinda-mania and swollen feet.

The Prime Minister has had a huge week on the world stage, and I think you can safely call it a success, except maybe the feet part.

She's met the Queen, dozens of Commonwealth leaders as well as the European Union's unofficial King and Queen (Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron).

She's spent a fair bit of time with her friend Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and, like a true politician, she says she enjoyed every meeting she's had.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern met the Queen in London, and delivered a toast to Commonwealth leaders. Source: 1 NEWS

She's talked a lot about trade and spent hours inside palaces decorated with paintings and ornaments which are far older than our country - but was she blown away?

She says she was more concerned with the upkeep of such grand locations - "that's an enormous amount of landscaping to upkeep, and just the maintenance is extraordinary" she told me in a one-on-one chat.

While New Zealand's "acceptance" - not "support" - for the Syrian airstrikes dominated daily domestic interviews with the Prime Minister, as did the topic of Russia, the internet went crazy over pictures of her in a korowai attending Her Majesty's dinner for the Commonwealth Heads of Government.

International media are well and truly buying into Jacinda-mania, with one Australian Media outlet saying "the Queen was the star of the show but Jacinda Ardern's first CHOGM has given her almost equal billing".

Earlier today the Prime Minister met with Queen Elizabeth. Source: 1 NEWS

Whether she likes it or not, at seven months pregnant she is garnering attention too for what she describes as her "front pack".

Long haul travel, 29-degree heat and high heels are not the best combination for a woman in her third trimester.

"It does remove the ability to put your shoes on, literally, not just leaning down, but travel is not helpful for swelling," she says.

But she's careful to show she's not complaining.

"I'm absolutely fine ... I was here to do a job and I've done it," referring to securing France's support for an EU-NZ Free Trade deal.

She says that was her trip highlight, although it's important to note that support wasn't solely decided in her one-hour meeting with the Macron, as officials have spent months in discussions.

Overall she seems content.

"I had a lot business I wanted to cram in and we've done that so I'm really satisfied that I've got as much value for this visit for NZ as I've been able to, even if I've let NZ down on the shoe front".

Ms Ardern said she received numerous questions about the cloak, its origins and its significance. Source: 1 NEWS