Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Melbourne gives the Queen and the Duke a royal welcome

This Wednesday Melbourne hosted Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness Prince Philip and gave them an enthusiastic welcome.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attended a ceremony marking the official opening of the new Royal Children's Hospital, unveiling a plaque and visiting children, family and staff.

They then travelled to Federation Square in Melbourne's CBD to take in an exhibition of Indigenous art at the Ian Potter Gallery.

The square was flooded with thousands of well-wishers, who jostled for the best viewing position. Thousands lined in the streets around Flinders Street Station with no chance of seeing the Royal couple but waited patiently and in very good spirits.

The Royal couple received the adoration of the crowd and spent twenty minutes at Federation Square walking a red carpet, talking to the people and accepting gifts of flowers and little toys. One boy had written a letter for Prince Charles since he attends the same school as Prince Charles did, Geelong Grammar.

The crowd burst out in singing Australia's Royal Anthem, God save the Queen!

The Royal couple also boarded a specially designed red and white tram, which travelled along St Kilda Road to Government House. The Queen's tram will be decorated for a year and will rotate on most routes.

Royal supporters lined the route, waving Australian and British flags.

Even The Age managed a reasonably courteous article, written by the republican journalist Michael Shmith: Long may Melbourne's royal reminders reign: "Doing away with monarchy's monuments would be madness - even for a republic."

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