When Ian Sinclair read Prince Harry’s joke about being barked at by the royal corgies he couldn’t resist a chuckle.

Ian’s own encounter with the Queen’s pooches took place at Buckingham Palace.

Ian was TVNZ Europe Correspondent at the time.

He had already got his introduction to the Queen through her press secretary, former TVNZ presenter Simon Walker.

“Simon got me into a meet and greet at Windsor Castle,” he explains. 

“I get the impression she was pretty fond of New Zealand.

“After she realised we had a bureau in London I got invited back to the palace several times.”

Simon Walker invited him to cover the All Blacks’ encounter with the Queen, who was keen to meet the team.  

But the dogs got there first, dashing in ahead of the royal monarch.

One of them scampered up to Sinclair for a pat.

“He was certainly friendly to me, but he didn’t seem to know much about rugby, he trotted right past Jonah!”

He says that one example explains why reporting has held his fascination for four decades.

“It’s a ringside seat on history.”

But he rates Sunday as his best assignment. 

"It's a team of world class story tellers."

This year Ian has taken a step back from the programme to pursue his other love, flamenco guitar.

But he’ll still be keeping his hand in with special assignments for Sunday.