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Australia: Canberra

10th November 2012

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to Australia for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee has come to an end in Canberra today.

Their Royal Highnesses have experienced everything from an Aussie barbie with outback cattlemen to the excitement of the Melbourne Cup during their six-day trip to the nation.

The royal couple ended their Diamond Jubilee visit in the capital Canberra where they renamed a section of road close to the striking Parliament House - Queen Elizabeth Terrace.

Ms Gillard welcomed The Prince and Duchess when they arrived at the thoroughfare which was lined with crowds.

The prime minister paid tribute to The Queen's devotion to duty in a speech before the royal couple unveiled a plaque naming the terrace. S

he said: "This place will be a lasting tribute to Her Majesty the Queen on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee, inscribed forever in the architecture of our capital. "It will remind future generations that for more than half our journey as a united nation Elizabeth II has been our monarch.

"No-one in the history of our federation has shared more consistently in the affairs of our Commonwealth or followed them with deeper interest and goodwill.

"As Canberra prepares for its centenary it is fitting that The Queen's life of duty is given recognition here in our nation's heart, and her wisdom and dignity are honoured among the people she has so faithfully served."

The royal couple went on a brief walkabout in the newly-named terrace, meeting people who had been waiting patiently.

Sisters-in-law Crystal and Leanne Tunningley, 33, were ecstatic after meeting The Duchess.

Crystal, 28, from Canberra, said: "Camilla was saying she loved being in Canberra and it was so sad that she had to go."

Later The Prince and Duchess held a private meeting with the Queen's representative in Australia, Governor General Quentin Bryce and her husband Michael.

The Prince then held a series of talks in the imposing Government House, first with Ms Gillard, and then the leader of the opposition Tony Abbott.

In the grounds of the historic building a Diamond Jubilee buffet lunch was held on manicured lawns.

Among the guests were leading politicians, including former prime minister John Howard, broadcasters, business leaders, sports personalities and arts figures. Mrs Bryce said after her accession to the throne in 1952, The Queen showed remarkable qualities.

She said: "In the six decades since across times of extraordinary and constant change a symbol steadfast - dignity, strength, a source of courage and inspiration to so many people."

In a short speech The Prince praised the volunteering efforts of many Australians - something that reflected the theme of the Diamond Jubilee, service to others.

The Prince, who confessed they would leave Australia with "great sadness", said: "These are the people of course who provide a glue to such a, I think, diverse and energetic and determined society.

"And from that point of view it has been a real joy for my wife and I to help celebrate that wonderful aspect of society in Australia.

"To pay a tribute, for what it's worth, to all these marvellous people, and to just thank them for all they do to make Australia such a very special place."

Before leaving for New Zealand, the final leg of the Diamond Jubilee tour, the royal couple paid their respects to Australia's war dead at the nation's war memorial on the eve of Remembrance Sunday.

More than 100,000 men and women have died serving the Commonwealth country since the First World War and The Prince placed a floral tribute at the monument to recognise their ultimate sacrifice.

The Australian War Memorial in Canberra is an imposing sandstone-clad Byzantine style building with a copper-covered dome.

The royal couple walked into the Hall of Memories where the remains of a First World War serviceman are interred. At each corner of the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier stood a member of a ceremonial unit from the Australian Defence Force.

Above Their Royal Highnesses’ heads was an ornate dome and they were surrounded by lavishly decorated mosaic walls featuring more than six million coloured glass tiles in a design created by Australian artist Napier Waller. The Prince laid a large wreath on the tomb before the Last Post was sounded by a bugler and a minute's silence was observed.

In the memorial's open air commemorative area were written the names of Australia's fallen and the royal couple walked past the long lists stopping at the names of those who died on operations in Afghanistan. Before leaving the royals went on a brief walkabout to meet the crowds outside the memorial.