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Australia: The Prince and The Duchess visit Adelaide

7th November 2012

The Prince and Duchess cuddle Koalas at Government House, Australia

The Prince and The Duchess cuddle Koalas at Government House, Australia

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The Duchess of Cornwall was left smitten after cuddling a koala today with The Prince of Wales.

Her Royal Highness cradled Matilda, a nine-month-old orphan, and said she wanted to take the tiny furry creature home with her.

The Prince was more pragmatic and joked about the koalas' reputation for having weak bladders when he was handed Kao, aged four.

"Something ominous will run down," he said.

Koala rescue volunteers Warren and Rae Campbell had brought the animals to Government House in Adelaide for the royal couple to meet.

The two animals were busily munching eucalyptus leaves as they hung on to the Campbells when Their Royal Highnesses walked onto a veranda at the historic building.

The couple offered them to The Prince and Duchess, with Her Royal Highness saying to The Prince as she gestured to Kao "you take the big one, darling".

The koala's were wrapped in cloth pouches and as The Duchess held her tiny animal she joked: "They've got their nappies on."

The Prince's koala faced away from him and he said: "I can't see this one at all, he's looking down all the time."

The Duchess affectionately stroked the tiny joey koala in her arms during the five minute meeting and The Prince held his animal a little closer the longer the encounter went on.

Mrs Campbell, 68, from Trott Park, Adelaide and her 74-year-old husband have been rescuing and looking after Australian wildlife for more than 50 years.

The couple volunteer for Fauna Rescue of South Australia - a leading wildlife conservation group - and often travel hundreds of miles a week to rescue endangered animals.

They took in nine-month-old Kao, after she was found in parkland as a young joey and Matilda was discovered still in the pouch of her mother, who had been hit and killed by a car.

Mrs Campbell said: "Koalas have long nails and sharp teeth, that's their form of self defence, but I trimmed their nails for the royal visit as I didn't want the Prince and the Duchess covered in lots of Band Aids.

"I put them in the pouches because you can't house train koalas and their claws on their back legs are really sharp."

Mr Campbell joked: "The Duchess said we've got them in nappies but I said we didn't want to pay their dry cleaning bill."

Earlier a little girl was given an unusual piece of advice by The Duchess - try kissing a frog.

Her Royal Highness joked about the princess and the frog fairytale when she came across a group of children looking after tadpoles at Kilkenny Primary School in Adelaide.

The youngsters told The Prince and Duchess about the lifecycle of a frog and how they planned to introduce some tadpoles into their school pond.

In the folktale the frog turned into royalty when he was kissed by a princess.

The Duchess told Maisha, a seven-year-old who had explained the project to the royals: "There's a fairy story about a frog. You have to try kissing it very hard and see what happens."

Their Royal Highnesses visited the school to learn about celebrity food writer Stephanie Alexander's kitchen garden initiative, started in 2001.

Today more than 250 schools and around 35,000 pupils get their hands dirty learning how to grow, harvest, prepare and share fresh, seasonal food as part of the programme.

Kilkenny Primary has been following the initiative for the past three years and The Prince and Duchess were given a guided tour of its vegetable patches and orchards tended by the pupils and the kitchens where food is prepared from the produce grown.

The Prince sat down to try the broad bean and leek risotto and gave it the thumbs-up before leaving.



  • Australia: Meeting rescued Koalas

  • The Duchess of Cornwall hosts a reception for supporters of Osteoporosis Australia.

  • Meeting the crowd in Adelaide

Their Royal Highnesses spent the day in Adelaide as part of their Diamond Jubilee tour of Australia and travelled to the nearby Penfold's winery, which produces award-winning wines.

They were each given a glass of the Bin 68 Coonawarrra Cabernet Kalimna Shiraz, a 1962 vintage that costs almost £3,500.

The Duchess's father Major Bruce Shand was a wine merchant and she has a deep knowledge of grapes and vintages.

Jamie Sach of Penfolds said: "It's widely regarded as the best bottle of Australian wine ever made. It's not me saying that - lots of respected critics have made that comment.

"It costs 5,000 (Australian) dollars if you can find one, as they're extremely rare. You might find one at auction if you're lucky. They thought it was very enjoyable."

The Prince and Duchess began their day in Melbourne where The Duchess opened her heart about how osteoporosis had devastated her family.

Her Royal Highness described how she watched her mother and grandmother die from the crippling bone disease as she addressed a leading Osteoporosis charity in Melbourne.

The Duchess, who is President of the National Osteoporosis Society in the UK, asked for a reception to be held with Osteoporosis Australia so should could get the message of prevention across to the public.

Her mother lost about eight inches in height and became so bent she was unable to digest her food properly before she died aged 72 in 1994.

The Duchess told her audience at Government House, Melbourne: "I watched my mother and grandmother die of this disease and no one knew what this disease was.

"But since then the research has gone from strength to strength and they've made huge strides in the UK as you are here (in Australia). To unite with all of you today is so important, to get the message worldwide to people that it can be prevented."

Meanwhile, The Prince attended the Sustainable Urbanism Seminar in Melbourne, where he made a speech on the issue of housing and sustainability.

One of His Royal Highness's charities, The Prince's Foundation for Building Community unveiled a model for a sustainable suburban retrofit in Melbourne.

To find out more details and see pictures of the model, visit The Prince's Foundation for Building website.



A speech by The Duchess of Cornwall at a reception for Osteoporosis Australia

Published on 7th November 2012

I watched my mother and grandmother die of this disease and no one knew what this disease was.

But since then the research has gone from strength to strength and they've made huge strides in UK as you are here (in Australia).

To unite with all of you today is so important to get the message worldwide to people that it can be prevented.

It's not just the women, it's the men as well, sometimes I think they've gotten away with it but they are affected, and young people.

Also the message I'd love to get over is to make young people aware of how important it is in their teenage years to take exercise, to eat properly, to not diet too strongly because it will catch-up with you as you get older.

Anyway thank you very much. It was the one thing I wanted to do in Australia, I was determined I was going to get an Osteoporosis reception and thank goodness I have.


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