Live: Charles and Camilla in Longreach
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Photo: Indigo
We bring you all the latest news from Longreach as Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall embark on their Australian tour. All times in AEST, just like the rest of Queensland.
6.50pm: Charles and Camilla have left, but not before witnessing this spectacular outback sunset.
- The sun sets on the Longreach royal visit. Photo: Bridie Jabour
And that's it for our live blog. Thanks for your company and hope you back a winner tomorrow!
6.41pm: Prince Charles is now addressing the barbecue in his very clipped English accent.
"I'm so jet lagged I feel a few sausages short of a barbie," he said.
He tells the crowd he and his wife are very touched by the warm welcome they have received.
- Prince Charles addresses the Longreach crowd. Photo: Bridie Jabour
Since it is Camilla's first visit he said he hopes she can be introduced to vegemite and Tim Tams.
"If I may so, I'm so pleased our visit could begin here in regional Queensland," he said.
"...the outback remains a source of constant fascination and respect."
He recalls coming across spiders, leeches and kangaroos when he was a school boy in Victoria.
"They say those are the formative years and they certainly informed me and ladies and gentlemen look at the result," he said to laughs and a smattering of applause.
Prince Charles moves on to a very serious topic, the Queensland floods and said there was universal awe of the way Australians pulled together.
"I wish we could stay longer," he concludes his speech after quipping it was a "hell of a long drive for a surf" from London to Australia.
With that Prince Charles and Camilla will make their way back to the airport and on to a plane, bringing their two hour Longreach visit, and this blog, to a close.
6.22pm: Premier Campbell Newman has now taken the podium at the barbecue.
He said Queensland is "thrilled and delighted" to welcome the royal couple to Longreach.
"We welcome you to Queensland in true outback style to a barbecue with cold beer," he said.
Mr Newman thanked the royal family for sending out members twice as the state recovered from the floods.
Mr Newman gains a round of applause when he mentions Queensland is going back to the traditional coat of arms awarded by Queen Victoria.
"I thought that would get a go," he said in response to the applause before saying a final thank you and welcome to the royal hignesses.
Governor Penelope Wensley tells the royals the definitive spirit of Queensland can be found in Longreach.
"The community spirit is a bit like a diamond where different facets can shine in different circumstances," she said.
Governor Wensley said Longreach is an "iconic" place and the spirit of Queensland has become a bed rock that holds communities like Longreach together.
She said a function in a characteristically laid back setting like the barbecue was a perfect way to showcase the Queensland spirit.
She said she hoped the warmth of the welcome would convince the couple to return to Queensland soon for a longer visit.
5.59pm: The royal couple are about to go into a barbecue at the Cattleman's Bar and Grill, which is conveniently at the end of their public walk.
- Premier Campbell Newman donned an Akubra when he and his wife, Lisa, welcomed the royal couple to a traditional Longreach barbecue. Photo: Bridie Jabour
In what might be the most controversial move of the tour Prince Charles and Camilla are being offered XXXX Gold at the barbecue, which could reignite the age old debate: is it terrible or terribly good?
Also on the menu is:
- chargrilled Queensland asparagus with prosciutto;
- marinated Longreach lamb koftas;
- BBQ Queensland prawns;
- chicken rissoles with north Queensland mango and avocado salsa;
- petite roll with shredded slow cooked Queensland beef, capers and feta grilled corn fritters with sour cream and coriander; and
- southeast Queensland vegetable and cheese frittata.
XXXX Gold isn't the only tipple on offer at the barbecue. There is also Riversands Vineyards Cabernet Shiraz, Sauvignon blanc and sparkling brut. The vineyards are near St George in Queensland.
The other beer on offer is XXXX Summer Bright Lager.
5.55pm: And, ladies and gentlemen, here we have it! The "awwww" moment of the day.
- Who says things come easy for royals? This little girl was reluctant to pass with her flowers. Photo: Bridie Jabour
This little girl was very hesitant to give up her flowers during the public walk.
"Shall I have them?" Camilla asked her to which the child replied "nope" while shaking her head.
"That's quite all right," the Duchess told her before the girl decided she did want to give them up to cheers from the surrounding crowd.
5.46pm: There's quite a crowd gathering in the Longreach dusk.
- About 1000 people are waiting to see the royal couple. Photo: Bridie Jabour
Journalists have come to the agreed estimate of at least 1000 people waiting patiently. Apparently quite a few people have come from surrounding towns for the event.
5.32pm: Tanith Rose Richens has gone all out for her potential meeting with the royal couple and come in costume.
She is wearing an Elizabethan-style dress she picked up from the Longreach Street Theatre collection.
- Tanith Rose Richens, 14, dresses for the occasion. Photo: Bridie Jabour
"It's made out of shade cloth so it's not that hot," the 14-year-old said.
"I came to see everyone and welcome people to Longreach."
She said she was a big fan of Prince Charles and Camilla.
There are hundreds of people lining the road outside of the Stockman's Hall of Fame and the royal couple are expected to do a public walk.
4.55pm: Prince Charles and Camilla are now heading into the Stockman's Hall of Fame, where they are meeting four couples with some fairly deep connections to the outback.
The couple are splitting up once inside the hall with the Prince to meet Anthony and Janet Brook and James and Manny Walker.
Mr and Mrs Brook manage Cordillo Downs Station, which is 240 kilometres from the nearest town - Birdsville.
Birdsville, of course, is a tiny, tiny town for 51 weeks of the year. But then, in that other week, it hosts the famous Birdsville races.
- Sophie Pearce, 5, and Charlotte Eussen, 5, wait on the walk for the royal couple.They are hoping to give the flowers to Camilla! Photo: Bridie Jabour
The property they manage is 2 million acres and the couple's four children Harry, 11, Nimah, 7, Megan, 6, and Emma, 3, live on the station with the older children doing distance education through Longreach.
Occasionally, their father flies to Longreach for a school event in his Cessna 182.
Mr and Mrs Brook are the major suppliers of organic cattle to a company which provides organic beef to the United States and parts of Asia.
Prince Charles will also meet Mr and Mrs Walker who manage 80,000 acres of agricultural land around Longreach with James's parents.
James's grandfather, Sir James Walker, actually spent time with Queen Elizabeth II in 1970 when she visited Camden Park, 15 kilometres outside of Longreach.
In 1988 they met again when the Queen joined Sir Walker to open the Stockman's Hall of Fame.
Meanwhile the Duchess of Cornwall will meet Carley and Nicholas Walker who own and run the cattle station "Rio" just outside of Longreach.
Mr Walker is the sixth generation of his family to live near Longreach and has met the Duke of Edinburgh in Scotland and was a schoolboy for the Queen's visit.
Mrs Walker is the daughter of artists who first visited Longreach in 1988 to install a sculpture at the Stockman's Hall of Fame which the Queen was opening.
Camilla will also meet Ben and Jayde Chandler who are third generation graziers south of Barcaldine.
Both of their grandfathers were founding members of the Hall of Fame.
Apparently in the Stockman's Hall of Fame, the royal couple will meet a joey but Fairfax Media is being directed to wait at the barbecue!
4.52pm: Prince Charles is now addressing those in the hangar and says it's "marvellous" to be back in Australia and he is thrilled to be in one if Qantas's hangars.
- Prince Charles addresses the RFDS in Longreach, with Camilla by his side. Photo: Bridie Jabour
He isn't using notes for his address and said it was wonderful to hear from a satisfied customer of the Royal Flying Doctors Service.
"I know we owe such a huge amount to the flying doctors during all of those terrible floods last year," he said.
Prince Charles is patron of the service and said he was sad he could not smash a bottle of champagne to officially launch their latest plane.
4.49pm: The royal couple are now hearing from Leonie, who had a personal experience with the service when her husband was injured.
She said Jim was moving cattle when a bullock knocked over a gate 20 kilometres from the homestead. When he ran over to get the gate, he fell and hit it.
His wife wanted to call an ambulance, but Jim refused because the Longreach races were on and would be cancelled if the ambulance had to leave.
His wife eventually went and got a nurse from 50 kilometres away.
Prince Charles had a good giggle when she said the nurse had to cut of Jim's pants and he quipped "it's a good thing I wore jocks today".
The Royal Flying Doctors Service ended up flying to the property and Jim got in the plane and flew him to Toowoomba, where they found his leg was broken in two places.
"We still don't know today if Jim was watching the bullock or the (female) Danish backpacker who was helping," she ended the speech with causing much laughter from Charles and Camilla.
Earlier, Prince Charles and Camilla watched a simulated emergency exercise or the Royal Flying Doctor service. This is supposed to be a stockman injured on a station and shows the quick response and him being loaded on to the plane.
- An RFDS demonstration on the tarmac at Longreach Airport. Photo: Bridie Jabour
4.34pm: Governor General Quentin Bryce is giving a presentation to Prince Charles and Camilla about the Royal Flying Doctors Service, which is an integral part of this visit.
There's a healthy contingent of British journalists has followed the royal couple to Longreach.
4.06pm: And now the royal couple steps off the plane to meet the official party.
- The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall on terra firma at Longreach. Photo: Bridie Jabour
The royal couple stroll across the Tarmac with GG Quentin Bryce. Camilla is carrying a parasol to protect her from the sun. No wonder - it's hot out here!
4pm: In addition to the welcoming party the other honourable members in Longreach are Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie and Gregory MP Vaughan Johnson.
Mr Bleijie is a known monarchist and we have been told many of the government staffers and even Mr Bleijie have been spotted around town sporting akubras.
It will be interesting to see if that is their headgear of choice to greet the Royal Highnesses!
We will have some photos shortly.
3.51pm: The royals are in the house! Well on the tarmac anyway, where they are being greeted in this oppressive heat by a host of dignitaries.
The royals flew into Longreach Airport on a RAAF B737.
Premier Campbell Newman is in the party with his wife, Lisa Newman, as well as Governor-General Quentin Bryce and Queensland Governor Penelope Wensley and her husband Stuart McCosker.
Longreach's mayor Joe Owens is also in the welcoming party with his wife Fiona.
They are all making a beeline for Royal Flying Doctors' event which is at the Qantas Founders' Museum.
3.50pm: Is this them?
- This jet caused some excitement among the waiting crowd. Photo: Bridie Jabour
An RAAF jet has landed in the tarmac sparking excitement in the hangar that it could be the royal couple.
Prince Charles and Camilla are travelling with a media and staff contingent so there is a distinct possibility those on the plane are part of their entourage.
3.34pm: The view from the Qantas shed where journalists are awaiting the royal arrival.
- The tarmac at Longreach Airport. Photo: Bridie Jabour
The tour of the Qantas Founders' Museum is going to be a Royal Flying Doctors event.The plane in the foreground is one the doctors use to fly to patients all over the outback.
3.23pm: Hark! The first decoration this journalist has seen in Longreach. Merino bakery in the Main Street has this interesting sign out the front.
Staff were too busy with the lunchtime rush to have a chat about what the Charles sign meant though one staff member said she would be excited to meet "Princess Mary".
Journalists are busy taking up ther positions for the royal arrival at 4pm with Fairfax Media stationed in a shed at the Qantas Founders' Museum.
It is 39 degrees. I feel this is a very important detail.
The royal visit has been hotly anticipated by Longreach locals, but not all of them will get to meet the future king.