ACT News


Royals farewell capital and make off with bootful of bouquets

KRYSTAL ANH LOBB wanted to meet the Queen after watching a TV show, but yesterday she decided a duchess was better.

Dressed in a glittering, purple princess costume the five-year-old from Watson was front row at the Australian War Memorial to see some real-life royals, rather than the cartoon characters she enjoys watching every day after school.

Camilla introduced herself to the star-struck girl after she completed her first official visit to the memorial, which was gatecrashed by the museum's resident mother duck and group of ducklings.

''She told me I had a beautiful dress on and I just nodded. I can't remember what I said to her,'' Krystal blushed.

The Prince of Wales also met the pint-sized wannabe princess and her parents, Lee Anh and Aaron Lobb, who welcomed the couple to Canberra.


''He said, 'I see you've brought your family along, be sure to look after them','' Mr Lobb said.

After a quick costume change following lunch at Government House and before their flight to New Zealand, Camilla arrived for her final Australian engagement wearing a sand-coloured military-style dress and coat by Anna Valentine with a matching hat created by official royal milliner Sylvia Fletcher.

Valentine's designs feature prominently in the duchess's wardrobe, most notably she created the off-white gown and jacket that she wore when she married Prince Charles in 2005 as well as her ensemble for last year's royal wedding.

Wearing a grey lounge suit, Charles also mingled with the excited crowd. One woman yelled ''I love you, Charles!'' as he smiled at the number of flags on display bearing the faces of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

While the six-day tour has been gruelling for the pair, they have not flagged.

Members of the British press, however, were struggling to keep up with the hectic pace, one reporter was overheard asking for a tube of Zovirax to help cure the symptoms of a developing cold sore.

After receiving another car boot load of home-grown roses, store bought bouquets, white gladiolus and sealed envelopes containing fan mail, the prince and duchess waved goodbye to their final Australian audience as they rearranged their back pillows on the back seat of their Holden royal carriage.