British Royal Family

Royal tour: Prince Charles says Harry is a "jolly good egg"

By Juliet Rieden
Prince Charles gave an off the cuff speech at Admiralty House in Sydney tonight joking about his son Harry and their love for Australia.
Speaking at an exclusive gala dinner hosted by Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and his wife Lynne, Charles also said he was incredibly impressed by the Australian people.
"It is a huge treat to be back here again and you are incredibly kind to have us back here," he said.
"I find it hard to believe, in January, in two months time, 50 years ago, I first set foot in this remarkable country. And I have never forgotten - and I have said it before - flying in and landing I think it must have been in Sydney first as you came into land. I remember seeing this enormous shed below me which had huge print on it saying ‘Penfolds private bin’ and I remember thinking what a remarkable country they’ve already privatised the asylums."
Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall arrive for the gala dinner.
Prince Charles also spoke about his son, Harry who toured Australia earlier this year.
"I just wanted to say that in April this year I went with my youngest son Harry - who is a jolly good egg - to Gallipoli and again it was a very special experience to be there ten years after I was there before for those centenary commemorations and to be at the Dawn Service was something I shall again never forget .
"We owe so much to all those great characters, the diggers, who gave their lives in those foreign fields."
The Weekly was invited to the event where guests included jockey Michelle Payne and Australian of the Year Rosie Batty.
Jockey Michelle Payne meets the Duchess.
It's been quite a month for jockey Michelle Payne. First she becomes the first woman to ride to victory in The Melbourne Cup and then she finds herself hobnobbing with royalty at an exclusive gala dinner with Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall in residence.
Michelle looked excited, nervous and totally stunning in a green lace dress as she was among the first guests to be introduced to the royals.
The Duchess wore a light green Anna Valentine daisy lace dress and the Prince looked very dapper in his suit.
It was a glittering night at Admiralty House and 55 special invitees gathered for a very elegant dinner of scallops, rack of lamb and mango and coconut Melba washed down with a selection of Australian wines.
Australian of the Year and domestic violence survivor Rosie Batty was accompanied by her brother Robert and seated at the top table between Prince Charles and former Prime Minister John Howard.Other guests included The Weekly's gardening writer and Senior Australian of the Year Jackie French, Dick Smith and Anthony Pratt.
Tables were dressed in crisp white with floral centrepieces and crystal glasses and outside the a Royal Navy Jazz Band played standards including Girl from Ipanema.
Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty meets Camilla.
Earlier today Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visited the NSW Mounted Police Unit, which is the oldest continuous operational unit of its kind in the world.
The royals were treated to a display of mounted police troop drills and crowd control.
The force's longest-serving female mounted police officer, Sergeant Karen Owen, led the drills.
Sgt Owen has served with the mounted police for 32 years and the mounted police is celebrating its 190th anniversary this year, making it the world's oldest continuously operating unit.
The Prince and Duchess were joined by NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione, his wife Joy and NSW Police Minister Troy Grant with a demonstration put on for them by the Riding for the Disabled.
The Duchess toured the stables and patted the horses.
Camilla, whose love of horses is well known, toured the stables and patted the animals, while chatting to their riders.
The Duchess offered some of the horses polo mints, which they didn’t seem to enjoy. After sucking the mints, most of the horses spat them out.
Prince Charles then went separately to one of Australia's richest banks for a series of talks with firefighters, police and Red Cross nurses about mental health post disasters like the Lindt cafe siege, shootings and bushfires.
Crowds gathered outside for the Prince's public meet and greet caught a glimpse of him arriving, wearing a grey suit with grey silk handkerchief and pale yellow and black diagonally striped tie.
He was greeted on the top floor of the Macquarie Group building by former Australian defence force chief, Sir Angus Houston who is patron of the private event the Prince is taking part in, the Skills for Psychological Recovery Foundation Roundtable.
Also greeting the Prince were the CEO of the Prince's Charities Australia Janine Kirk who boldly guided the Prince with her hand on the royal back and Professor David Forbes, director of the Phoenix Australia institute for Post Traumatic Mental Health.
Prince Charles will also meet 22 professors of psychology and psychiatry from the UK, US, Canada and around Australia before moving into round table discussions with police and emergency service men and women.
On a relaxed walk through a crowd of 80 military and emergency services men and women, Prince Charles chatted and sipped from a tea cup as he heard stories about dealing with the survivors of disasters.
There was much laughter and many guests said afterwards that the Prince was "warm, engaging and genuinely interested."
Scotia Monkivitch of the Creative Recovery Network said the Prince had been "warm and friendly" as they discussed using the arts for recovering victims.
"He was very relaxed and his interest seemed real," said Eva Ross of AirBnB, which provides post disaster housing.
Victorian Fire Emegency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley shared a few laughs with the Prince.
"He remembered the Thredbo disaster and the Black Sayurday bushfires and he knew Victoria because he went to school there.
"I've got a friend who went to school with him at Geelong Grammar and he said to me last night that I had to mention his name to the Prince and this little joke they played on him at school," Commissioner Lapsley said after his meeting with Charles.
"So I mentioned my friend's name - Chas Armytage - and the Prince remembered him, he really did. 'Then I mentioned the story about how they put a snake in his drawer at school as a joke, and he couldn't stop chuckling about it."
Prince Charles shares a word with NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione.
Later in the day The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall attended a lunch reception at Government House to celebrate the work of Sydneysiders and other Australians who have made a significant difference to their local communities and the nation.
Farming enthusiast Prince Charles and wife Camilla were encouraged to sample some of the NSW governor's home-grown honey.
Governor David Hurley, who describes himself as "B-1" beekeeper, says the produce is some of the best Australia has to offer. Nearly 250 guests attended including state MPs and representatives from community groups and The Weekly's doctor Professor Kerryn Phelps whose book The Cancer Recovery Guide boasts a foreword by HIs Royal Highness.
After lunch the Duchess headed to Paddington where as the Australian military police's senior-most officer, the Duchess celebrated the corps' 100-year anniversary by cutting a cake with its youngest member.
In her role as Colonel-in-Chief, the Duchess visited Sydney's Victoria Barracks to meet around 40 military police sporting red berets who had come from around Australia.
In keeping with army tradition, 18-year-old private Alana Smilie cut a cake with the Duchess with a ceremonial sword for the military body's centenary to be marked next April."I felt very privileged," Ms Smilie said.
"It was quite a shock when I got told by my regimental sergeant major that I would be doing that."The Duchess, sans her husband Prince Charles who was off at other engagements, met with each of the military police officers present.
"You stand here today, as I do, to be proud and honoured to be part of this wonderful, 100-year-old institution," said the Duchess, who was appointed Colonel-in-Chief in 2012.
"Your red beret, which you presented to me on my first visit, has caused mayhem among my five grandchildren, who all want to wear it at the same time."

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