Prince William Says Farewell to Australia
Prince William said coming to Australia was a “realization of a dream.” Judging from his three days spent Down Under, it appears it certainly was for the 27 year-old Prince.
On Wednesday, he enjoyed a hip-hop performance at a teen center, shot guns on a military firing range, and had another barbecue this time with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. He joked with the Prime Minister of getting a second-home in the country.
“I have had the most warm welcome ever – not just with the weather, but with all Sydney people,” William explained.
On Thursday, William went to Melbourne to see firsthand the devastation the 2008 wildfires caused in the area. He met with some families who were made homeless by the devastation and were pleased to be visited by royalty.
“It’s an honour, it’s not every day that royalty comes to walk on your lovely block of land,” said Diane Fox, adding that William’s visit would lift spirits and help the healing process.
Later, William went to an official reception which in a way ended his three day visit to Australia. He gave a little speech about his time in the country, and how his mother, the late Princess Diana, often told him about her travels Down Under.
He also spoke about when his father was kissed coming out of the sea by an unknown woman in Perth in 1970s.
“My father had such a great time here at school – and is still misty-eyed about an immortal moment on Bondi (beach), when an Australian beauty planted a smacker on his cheek.”
He added: “It’s good to see this tradition is continuing.”
What William was referring to was the several woman who kissed or tried to kiss him as he greeted the large crowds gathered to see him.
The Prince went on to that Australia was “truly a country for the 21st century”.
“What has struck me during this visit to the southern hemisphere is what shared heritage actually means. It really is about core values and our way of life,” William added.
“It really is about humour and decency and it is also about courage and an ability to face down adversity.”
After the reception, William then stopped by the Australian Open tennis tournament. He watched as tennis great Roger Frederer beat his opponent, and later met with such players as the Williams sisters. Afterward, the Prince took an overnight flight back to the U.K.
The media has been analyzing this official visit from all angles. Some say it has sparked an interest in the monarchy in both Australia and New Zealand. Others have complained about it being too casual, using Prince William flipping burgers at several BBQs as an example.
Even so, the Prince displayed a lot of charm reminiscent of his mother, and that apparently is what pleased many people who came to see him during his tour.
Tagged Australia, Natural Disaster, Official Visit, Prime Minister Rudd, Sport, The Duke of Cambridge.