British Royal Family

Cheers! Prince Charles raises a glass to the Aussie spirit in Bundaberg

In a visit to Bundaberg, the royal downed a tot of rum and delighted locals with a moving impromptu speech, says The Weekly's Royal Correspondent Juliet Rieden.

By The Australian Women's Weekly
Prince Charles was in Bundaberg today , home of the famous rum where he saluted the "wonderful" people of Bundaberg for their strength in the face recent natural disasters.
"The Australian spirit and character is such that you are unbelievably resilient and somehow you've managed, regardless of what happened," he told locals, referring to recent floods, after he toured the Bundaberg Rum distillery on Friday.
Charles can't get enough of the "spirit" Australians, as well as our Bundaberg rum.
This isn't the first time Charles has visited this distillery...
He also stopped by to sample the rum back in 1994.
"That is one of the great characteristics I've always admired (about Australians) ever since I first came here 52 years ago."
The speech was unexpected, and was warmly received by the more than 1000 who had gathered for a community barbecue outside the distillery, despite gusty winds and overcast skies.
It's been 24 years since the future King visited the city but he still recalled the signature rum.
"It's taken me, I'm afraid, all these years to come back for another tot and I'm thrilled that this distillery's proving to be the one that produces some of the most famous and special of all rums around the world."
His Royal Highness had left the Duchess in Brisbane where she had a full day of solo engagements. He was taken through a tasting in Barrel House, and took a slug of one of five options presented to him.
Declaring he could detect "fruit cake'' overtones, The Prince of Wales then went a step further and created his own version of Queensland's favourite tipple, blending four beakers of rum.
The Prince delivered an unexpected speech, much to the delight of 1000 excited onlookers.
It reminded him of "chemistry class'', he joked, before successfully mixing a brew which will be taken home to England.
The Prince took a particular interest in a section of the distillery museum where a commemorative "high water'' bottle of Bundaberg Rum is displayed, complete with a summary of the floods which have struck the town numerous times, most recently in 2013.
"The problem is they are growing in intensity,'' he said to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk as the two discussed extreme weather events.
He charmed the crowd who were lined up six deep behind security fences to catch a glimpse.
Pat Allison and husband Jim were among the hundreds of Bundaberg residents who turned out under grey skies to meet the heir to the throne..
Mr Allison said the Royals represented one of the world's most enduring institutions.
"They talk to senior politicians, world leaders and kids and always seem to conduct themselves well.''
Follow Juliet's LIVE coverage of Prince Charles and Camilla's royal Commonwealth Games tour, follow her on Twitter @JulietRieden.

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