The flowers were from Woolworths, but the smile was from the heart, when five-year-old Sebastian Leigh greeted Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles to Canberra on Saturday morning.
Sebastian, son of federal member of parliament for Fraser Andrew Leigh, presented a small bunch of flowers to Camilla with a winning grin. Dr Leigh was a last-minute addition to the official welcoming party after Canberra Senator Kate Lundy cancelled.
‘‘I gave them to the woman starting with D- she said thank you,’’ Sebastian said.
‘‘I said nothing, I just gave her a big smile.’’
The young man who dressed up in his ‘‘special clothes’’ with a clip-on tie was lost for words when he met Camilla and the Prince of Wales.
‘‘I don’t know why, but my lips just locked. I didn’t lock them but they just locked,’’ he said.
Prince Charles was also given a big smile.
‘‘And, I gave his hand a shake.’’
He said it was very exciting to be chosen for the honour over his brothers ‘‘because I’m the oldest.’’
Dr Leigh said his son who attends kindergarten at North Ainslie primary was thrilled to be called upon to make the presentation at short notice.
‘‘In my defence on Woollies, we were in a hurry coming from swim class and it was on the way,’’ Dr Leigh said.
The young man and his father were given a tour of the plane after the future King and his wife departed.
Only four royal watchers made the trip to Fairbairn, where the Australian Air Force plane landed.
The Duchess was dressed in a print navy dress with a fitted tan jacket and matching high-heels. She was not wearing a hat but had a red poppy pined to her jacket in honour of Remembrance day. Prince Charles was wearing a suit and also had a red poppy on his lapel.
When the Queen visited Australia last year, she was officially greeted by Governor-General Quentin Bryce, Prime Minister Julia Gillard and ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher. It was the first time the positions were simultaneously occupied by women. The greeting line for Charles and Camilla was decidedly more masculine.
The official secretary to the Governor-general Mr Stephen Brady, Dr Leigh, Senator George Brandis and Margot McCarthy welcomed the pair to the ACT.
Unlike his son, Dr Leigh was not lost for words when he met the prince.
‘‘I shook his hand and said that although he had been here before he might not realise that this was the social capital of Australia. That because of his interest in urban design he might be interested to know that the urban design of Canberra means that we are far more community spirited than any other place in Australia.
‘‘He said, ‘‘oh that’s interesting.’’’’
The couple were on the tarmac for less than 10 minutes before being driven to their next engagement.