The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall began their official trip to Australia after a unannounced stop in New South Wales to visit some friends in Gundagai.
Following their arrival, Charles and Camilla received an official welcome in Brisbane with a 21-gun salute at the Old Government House.
They then took a stroll through the botanic gardens before heading to visit Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital.
Upon their arrival Abbi Head greeted Charles and Camilla and gave them a teddy bear for when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcome their third child sometime in the next few weeks.
13-year-old Abbi who is battling Ewing’s Sarcoma, notes before meeting The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall that “The most exciting thing is probably being able to see them to say hello,” she said. “It’s the future King and Queen.”
Later The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will represent The Queen at the opening of the XXI Commonwealth Games.
Charles will share Her Majesty’s customary message, calling on athletes to come together in the spirit of friendly competition.
On Thursday Their Royal Highnesses will tour the Athletes Village before Charles presents medals during the Swimming Finals. In Cairns, the Prince will watch the Women’s Basketball and will meet the teams after the game.
The Duchess of Cornwall, President of the Women of the World WOW Festival, will host a tea for festival supporters. This year, WOW Brisbane celebrates the Women of the Commonwealth.
Charles and Camilla will visit Brisbane and the Gold Coast together; before His Royal Highness continues his visit to Queensland and the Northern Territory, concluding on 10 April.
Camilla will then head back to the United Kingdom, and Charles will continue his visit with quite a packed schedule. Further details to follow in our coverage of the upcoming visit.
As rumours start flying again, Clarence House put any health-related gossip to rest. A spokesperson commented: “There are no health reasons [for the Duchess pulling out after two days]. She is fit as a flea. The Duchess does not like flying but I think she sometimes has to embrace that fear and get on with it. She is going to the games, which she regards as a very important part of the tour. It’s quite a gruelling tour, with some fantastic places for the Prince to visit.”
The Prince of Wales will visit Vanuatu on 7 April, where he will learn more about the reconstruction which has taken place following the devastating impact of Cyclone Pam. HRH will discuss the challenges faced by the Island States that face the growing threat of climate change, as has been most recently demonstrated by the terrible effects of Cyclone Gita in Tonga.
Along with the Commonwealth theme, the tour will include engagements which focus on the issues of community, sustainability and disaster recovery.
The visit will also highlight the connections to the Australian Armed Forces and the future king.
Prince Charles visited Australia in November 2012 with The Duchess of Cornwall as part of a visit to Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand on behalf of The Queen of each respective Realm in the year of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee.
Their last visit was in November 2015, when Charles and Camilla visited Adelaide, Canberra, Sydney, Albany and Perth.