Shoalhaven have a favour to call in with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Shoalhaven have a favour to call in with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

It would be a public relations coup for any small Australian town to secure a visit from Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

But Shoalhaven Mayor Joanna Gash has an ace up her sleeve in an attempt to put the sleepy south coast on the international tourism map.

Her message is rather dramatic – Prince William and Princess Kate would never have met had the Shoalhaven not played its part.

Alexander Berry.

Alexander Berry. Photo: National Library of Australia

Alexander Berry, who along with Edward Wollstonecraft, established the first European settlement on the New South Wales South Coast in the early 1820s, attended St Andrews University in Fife, Scotland before emigrating to Australia.

This is the same institution where Prince William and Princess Kate’s romance flourished shortly after they both arrived at St Andrews in 2001 to study art history.

On Alexander Berry’s death in 1873 his estate was bequeathed to his only living relative, his brother

David Berry and as part of his brother’s final wishes, David Berry bequeathed 100,000 pounds – which equates to approximately $16 million in today’s currency - to the St Andrews University on his own death in 1889 as recognition of Alexander’s  indebtedness to the institution.

Reports at the time indicate that the money bequeathed to St Andrews University proved the difference in the organisation removing itself from its then dire financial institution.

Ms Gash said that had it not been for the donation provided by Alexander Berry, the university may not have been the esteemed institution it now is – able to attract royalty for enrolment.

“Although he could not have known it at the time, Alexander Berry’s extremely generous donation to St Andrews University has helped make one of the most famous relationships in the world possible,” she said.

“Looking back through hindsight, David Berry could be described as both the world’s most famous and most unlikely Cupid.”

She has passed on a formal invitation to the royal couple – who are due to hit Australian shores with their photogenic son, Prince George, in April, to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

The local council has compiled a full four day itinerary for the Royal Couple as part of its formal invitation, inclusive of a visit to Coolangatta Mountain, the final resting place of David Berry.

It also includes a visit for Prince William to HMAS Albatross in line with his career as a Royal Navy helicopter pilot.

The historic links to the royal couple’s alma mater may seem a little stretched, but in the scrabble to secure a place in the international media spotlight during the Australian tour, even less tenuous invitations have been extended.

For instance, the Northern Territory Government has written to Kensington Palace with an offer for Prince George to meet his namesake – George the crocodile.

Chief Minister Adam Giles suggested the royal croc – which was gifted to the family last July to honour their son's birth - was a pretty good reason to come.

Sadly for him, however, bookmakers have a stopover at the top end on fairly long odds.