New South Wales welcomes The Duke of Gloucester
His Royal Highness Prince Richard, The Duke of Gloucester, has returned to Australia. He spent a couple of years down under while his father served as Governor-General in Australia. In 1945, Prince Henry, who had been Chief Liaison Officer to the British Field Force in France, became Australia's first royal Governor General. The family moved to Australia.
On 21st May The Duke of Gloucester, who is 21st in line for the throne, arrived at Sydney Kingsford-Smith Airport. His Royal Highness, Grand Prior, the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, attended a Service of Prayer to commemorate the Opening of the Grand Council of the Order at St. James Church, 173 King Street, Sydney.
The Duke of Gloucester afterwards attended a Reception given by the Premier of New South Wales, Barry O'Farrell, at Governor Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney.
The next day, The Duke of Gloucester attended the Grand Council Meeting at the Shangri-La Sydney, 176 Cumberland Street, the Rocks, Sydney.
On 23rd May The Duke of Gloucester, Grand Prior, the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, today attended the Grand Council Meeting at the Shangri-La Sydney, 176 Cumberland Street, the Rocks, Sydney.
His Royal Highness, who is Patron of the Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust, met Nuffield Australia Farming Scholars in Sydney. The charity organisation provides a scholarship scheme for the benefit of the Australian farming community.
Through the adoption of local and international best practice and continuous development of a network of industry leaders and innovators, the scholarship scheme promotes excellence in all aspects of Australian agricultural production, distribution and management.
That evening The Duke of Gloucester, Grand Prior, the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, attended the Grand Council Dinner at the Shangri-La Sydney.
On 24th May The Duke of Gloucester was received for a Luncheon at New South Wales' upper house in the president’s dining room. The president, Don Harwin, had consulted the archives and dished up the same menu the duke’s father had been served in the same room when he ended his term as the Governor-General, 65 years ago.
In the evening His Royal Highness attended a Dinner given by the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, Ms. Quentin Bryce, at Government House, Canberra.
On 26th May The Duke of Gloucester presented the Duke of Gloucester Cup to the 2nd Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment at Victoria Barracks, Oxford Street, Sydney, New South Wales.
The Duke of Gloucester Cup, the three awards are presented to the most efficient infantry battalion of the Australian Army, ship of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), and squadron of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) during the previous year. The awards were created by HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester in 1946, while he was serving as the Governor-General of Australia, and were first presented in 1947. The RAAF's Gloucester Cup recognises the most proficient flying squadron during a calendar year.
The Duke of Gloucester’s Governor-Generalship was assessed by Max Harris in the Bulletin in 1983. Harris’ verdict was that ‘the Duke of Gloucester was our greatest Governor-General’. He justified his opinion with the following examples which illuminate the Duke’s activities whilst serving in the position:
It was the Gloucester concept of the office that differed from any other of the incumbents before or since. He believed that the Governor-General had to make himself visible to ordinary Australians… And it was up to him to go to them… Within two of Australia’s grimmest years, 1944 and 1945, by land and a problematical little aircraft, he covered 63 000 bush miles…
A soldier runs through the smoke during the bayonet assault course at the Duke of Gloucester cup.
Photographer: CPL Marshall Ryan