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The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visit Sydney

9th November 2012

The Prince attends a reception for the Australian Wool Industry

The Prince attends a reception for the Australian Wool Industry

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The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall continued their overseas tour to Australia in Sydney today.

Starting the visit at the Royal Australian Navy Heritage Centre, The Prince spoke to the servicemen and women about his own son, Prince Harry being on the front line in Afghanistan.

Attending the reception with The Duchess of Cornwall, The Prince said he had spoken to Harry, who is currently serving as an Apache Helicopter Pilot, a number of times since his deployment in early September.

The Prince chatted to Major Karl Reynolds, from 19th Chief Engineer Works, and a group of his military colleagues at Garden Island, home to the Royal Australian Navy's largest Pacific Ocean base.

His Royal Highness joked about the awesome firepower of the Apache telling the men and their partners: "They're a nasty piece of work, I wouldn't like to get in their way."

Later in the day, on Sydney's famous Bondi beach The Prince was greeted not with brilliant sunshine but torrential rain when he arrived to watch a group of youngsters playing touch rugby on the sand to highlight a youth development programme.

The Prince has visited the stretch of sand many times, but during this trip The Prince was forced to shelter under a large black umbrella as he watched the teenagers play with National Rugby League stars.

Earlier he sat in on a Dream Believe Achieve mentoring session for young indigenous children at the Bondi Beach Surf Lifesaving Club. The project uses rugby league to encourage students to consider their own behaviour and attitude towards leading a healthy, balanced life. He saw a reminder of his 1966 visit to the beach in the form of a black and white picture of himself aged 17 being made an honorary member of the North Bondi Surf Club and having a competition cap put on his head by members of the institution.

Holding the picture was Charles Christensen, 92, the Club's former president who was also in the picture and showed it to The Prince before he left the beach.

Mr Christensen said: "Forty-six years ago Charles was 17 when he came here as a schoolboy showing a very lively interest in the Club. He was a charming personality and we made him an honorary member.

"We spoke about Bondi and he said he enjoyed swimming in the surf."

The Prince also spent his day in Sydney highlighting the Australian wool industry at a Farm to Fashion event at the Museum of Contemporary Art. On the roof of the building which overlooked Sydney Harbour Bridge were fashion designers, retailers, students, wool growers and two merino sheep, prized for their fine wool, and a lamb.

The Prince, who wore a suit made from Tasmanian merino wool, spent almost an hour chatting to people involved in various aspects of the textile industry.

His Royal Highness launched his own initiative, The Prince's Campaign for Wool in 2010 to promote the benefits of wool as a natural and sustainable fabric and to help struggling sheep farmers.

Meanwhile, The Duchess spent part of her day with The Royal Australian Corps of Military Police after being made their Colonel-in-Chief.

Her Royal Highness visited the unit at their Victoria Barracks home in Sydney and took the royal salute and inspected the Royal Guard and the Australian Army Band.

In a speech to the regiment she said: "This is a very exciting time for me not only because of the great honour you have done me but also because it is my first trip to Australia and I deeply regret having left it so late."

She added: "You are a regiment who provides a unique and often difficult role, not only overseas on dangerous operational duties to Afghanistan, Iraq, East Timor and elsewhere, but also at home where your constant professionalism is required on a daily basis, policing the Australian Army and wider Defence Force.

"It seems to me you are never off duty - rather like my husband. But it is your families who provide you with peace of mind while you are away on long training exercises or overseas deployments. They provide the bedrock of support without which you cannot do such remarkable work."

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Campaign for Wool Showcase for The Prince of Wales in Australia

The Duchess of Cornwall makes a speech to the Royal Australian Corps of the Military Police

Published on 9th November 2012

Officers, Men, women of the Royal Australian Corps of the Military Police, It gives me enormous pleasure to address you today as your new and very proud Colonel-in-Chief.

This is a very exciting time for me not only because of the great honour you have done me but also because it is my first trip to Australia and I deeply regret having left it so late.

There has always been an association between members of the Royal Family and the Australian Army, including the appointment of Colonels-In-Chief to a number of Corps over the years.

Her Majesty The Queen is Colonel-In-Chief of the Royal Military Police, with whom you have close professional ties and shared lineage. And so I was very keen to know who my predecessor was.

I think you can imagine my delight and pride when I learned that in the prestigious 96 year history since your formation I have no predecessor and that I am, therefore and self-evidently, your first Colonel-in-Chief.

I want you to know the pleasure that gives me and that I am also very well aware of the significance and honour that comes with this very special appointment.

I am delighted to see that you are all wearing your rather dashing scarlet berets and wondered if the Colonel-in-Chief might possibly get to wear one, too?

For almost a century, the Royal Australian Corps of Military Police has earned an esteemed position in both the Australian Army and the wider community. In both war and in peace, you have provided outstanding service to the Nation. This is a record to be cherished. You are a regiment who provide ...

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