British Royal Family

The touching story behind Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's trip to Dubbo

This is the sixth visit by royals since 1920.

The country town of Dubbo received a royal welcome today as Prince Harry and his wife, Duchess Meghan, visited the region.
You may be wondering why the town were chosen to get the royal treatment by the Duke and Duchess - but the reason, goes well beyond the modern royals - dating back to 1920.
Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan touch down in Dubbo. (Image: Getty Images)

Edward, Prince of Wales - 1920

In 1920, Edward VIII, Prince of Wales visited the town of Dubbo to pay tribute to the residents who served in World War I.
Back then, the town was known as 'Tin Town' with a population of just 11,000. At the time, it was in such a state that people were embarrassed to call it home - but after the royal visit (and subsequent visits after that, it was transformed in to the Dubbo we now know.
A photo of the Queen on her 1954 visit to Dubbo. (Image: ABC)

Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh - 1954

In 1954, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip visited Dubbo as the first-ever reigning monarch to visit.
To combat the crowds, which grew from a population of 11,000 to 50,000 for the day, army reservists, national servicemen and regular army personnel were called in to keep the crowds at bay.
In an interview with the Daily Liberal in 2004, resident Gloria Klaassens told the outlet:
"Schools had photos of the Queen above the blackboard in every classroom and children sang the national anthem before sitting down.
"God Save the Queen was played at the pictures prior to the screening of the movie and everyone stood up and sang it. In the great scheme of things, there was God and then the Queen - that's how it was in those days."
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Prince Edward - 2006

Prince Edward visited Dubbo in 2006 for the Duke of Edinburgh scheme.
According to the ABC, "only a handful of people turned out to see the Prince at the airport and the Western Plains Zoo."
At the time, some year 8 students, Nakellah Brown and Courtney Chatfield, said it was "an experience of a lifetime".
"It was good, we spoke to him about what we've been doing in the program and what we're doing next and about the zoo," one of the girls said.
Prince Edward praise on the students: "They don't know it but they're very brave young girls here who just wanted to accept the challenge to have a go at the Duke of Edinburgh's Awards and I'm very, very proud of you for stepping up to the plate and giving it a go, the most important thing is that you should have a lot of fun doing it," he said.

Harry and Meghan - 2018

Which now brings us to the present, where Prince Harry and his glowing wife, have touched down in Dubbo as part of their royal tour.
After their official greeting at the plane they arrived in, the couple walked across the airport to the nearby Royal Flying Doctors Service hangar, meeting children from local public schools.
Dubbo had welcomed the couple with signs, banners and even a cardboard cut out of the pair at the local pub.
But it was at the end of the line of excited children that the pair met Luke Vincent, five, from Buninyong School.
Luke's "favourite person in the world is Father Christmas" so it was no surprise that he loved Harry's beard, which he stroked with glee.
He then gave Harry a big hug and when he met Meghan she too was gifted a beautiful long embrace from affectionate Luke.
The couple also visited drought stricken farmers, where Meghan gifted a family-of-five a beautiful banana bread.
Harry and Meghan's personal moment during their visit to Dubbo. (Image: Getty Images)
The Castlereagh Hotel, founded three years after Prince Edward's visit. (Image: Getty Images)
Royal watchers welcome Harry and Meghan with banners and flags! (Image: Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess also headed to the nearby hangar of The Royal Flying Doctor Service for a naming dedication and unveiling of a new RFDS plane as part of celebrations for 90 years of the vitally important healthcare service which provides a lifeline to people living in rural and remote Australia.
There they met RFDS staff and doctors, as well as people who have benefited from the service.

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