ACT News


Charles lays wreath in solemn finale

THE ROYAL couple concluded their whirlwind tour of Australia with a solemn visit to the Australian War Memorial on Saturday to lay a wreath and pay respects to the country's fallen soldiers.

Walking up the main staircase past crowds of well-wishers who had turned out to catch a final glimpse of the couple, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall made their way past walls of poppies and lists of the fallen.

Inside the memorial, Charles, who was wearing his service medals, laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to the haunting sounds of a bugle.

After the service the pair paused in the Hall of Memory and spoke to the acting director of the War Memorial, Nola Anderson, about its architecture.

A red poppy was attached to Camilla's second outfit in Canberra before the pair walked along the Roll of Honour in the Cloisters and stopped at the casualty list for the Middle East.


It was a particularly poignant moment as the Prince's son, Harry, is on a four-month tour of duty in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban.

Before leaving, the pair signed the memorial's official visitors' book. Even though a pen was provided, Charles pulled out his own from the pocket of his double-breasted suit, before handing it to his wife.

The couple have been travelling around Australia with the air force No. 34 squadron BBJ.

Prince Charles stopped to tell deputy chief of Air Force Leo Davies the service was fantastic.

''He said, 'I would like to thank you very much for the professional service from the aircraft you provided for me','' Air Vice-Marshal Davies said. ''He said, 'It's been outstanding service, thank you very much,'.''

The Air Vice-Marshal said he would pass the thank-you on to the squadron.

''I'm drafting something for the 34 squadron and we'll get that out to him so that he and his team know that they did a great job.''