ACT News


Chocolate treats provide sweet relief from naming controversy

PRINCE CHARLES and the Duchess of Cornwall found a very Australian way to defuse the controversy over the renaming of Parkes Place to Queen Elizabeth Terrace on Saturday - by using a packet of Tim Tams.

The royal couple disregarded pomp as they opened the newly named Queen Elizabeth Terrace, and won popularity along the way.

Hundreds of people stood alongside the newly labelled terrace next to Lake Burley Griffin, a part of Canberra no longer dedicated to the father of Australian federation Henry Parkes.

At one point, the royal pair walked beyond the barricades to mingle among crowd members, despite the concerned looks on the faces of suited security men.

Barton woman Alyson Richards, decked out in a Queen Elizabeth II T-shirt, described shaking Prince Charles' hand an ''absolutely magical'' moment, and returned the gesture by thrusting a packet of the Australian biscuits into his hand. ''He said he learnt the key to a good Tim Tam was to dunk it in your tea,'' she said.


Holidaying British resident and royalist Maggie Overton was one of many spectators impressed by the relaxed royalty.

''Because they're in Australia, it's far removed from the UK and not so formal,'' she said.

Ms Overton, who also spoke to the Prince, knew she had more chance of getting close to the royals in Australia.

''In London you have to wait for hours or days,'' she said.

Newly anointed Australians Darren and Denise Crew, also from Britain but now residents of Greenway, said Charles and Camilla seemed like ordinary people.

''I loved it,'' said Mr Crew, 46, who spoke to royals for the first time.

Also symbolising at least an air of egalitarianism, the next in line to the throne and his wife turned up in a Holden Caprice.

Last year his mother, the Queen, travelled the capital in a gleaming Range Rover.

The crowd gave the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall a standing ovation when they pulled back the red sheet to reveal the interpretative panel describing the new Queen Elizabeth Terrace, although most were already standing anyway.