ACT News


Capital embrace a hit as royals leave their mark on city

''OH, I like that,'' beamed the Prince of Wales as he admired Alyson Richards's T-shirt covered with a print of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

''I bought it online,'' the 25-year-old royal enthusiast told the future king as he moved through the crowd along the shore of Lake Burley Griffin just off the newly named Queen Elizabeth Terrace.

The unveiling of a plaque changing the name of Parkes Place to Queen Elizabeth Terrace was the royal couple's first official duty in the nation's capital and the crowds could not wait to get a glimpse of the pair.

Children holding white bush roses with the thorns still attached and bouquets of freshly picked blush roses peppered the front row of spectators waiting patiently as the Woden Valley Choir warmed up with moving renditions of I Still Call Australia Home and Waltzing Matilda.

Avril Oughton of Stirling, together with Banks resident and Scottish expat Alice Duncanson, enjoyed champagne and a picnic on the grass outside the National Gallery before lining up with their Union Jack and Australian flags to welcome Camilla to Canberra for the first time.


The ladies were also holding an official tea towel from Charles's 1981 wedding to Diana Spencer, which they tucked away once the royal motorcade pulled up.

Greeted warmly by Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, who was wearing a spearmint green skirt suit, the Duchess of Cornwall wore a Fiona Clare blue printed dress with matching beige jacket and modest heels. The prince was decked out in a trademark double-breasted grey suit.

''In you the people of Australia know they have a true and sympathetic friend … I hope you have discovered the warmth of the Australian character and acknowledge that you will always be welcome,'' Ms Gillard said.

Leanne Tunningley's green thumb caught Camilla's attention after the official proceedings. Ms Tunningley handed the duchess a bunch of home-grown iceberg and blue moon roses and was moved to tears when she was told they were ''very lovely, thank you''.

''She was so lovely. It was so nice to meet her. I can't believe we made it to the front row. Her hands were so soft!'' Ms Tunningley, who waited for over two hours with her sister-in-law Crystal to catch a glimpse of the couple, said.