Following a busy day in Canberra, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a party at Yarralumla, the residence of the Governor General. The Royal couple has been staying at the residence of Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove with their son Prince George.
William and Catherine meet a wide range of guests from the charity, conservation, arts, sporting and business fields on Friday evening in the drawing room at the Government House.
Chatting with the like’s former pro-surfer Layne Beachley, INXS rocker Kirk Pengilly and sailor Jessica Watson; they also met Daniel Keighran, Benjamin Roberts-Smith and SAS Trooper Mark Donaldson, Australia’s three serving Victoria Cross recipients.
They were among four Australians given the honour for their service in Afghanistan. Earlier this year, Corporal Cameron Baird was awarded the VC posthumously. Keith Payne, Australia’s fourth surviving recipient of the VC was not in attendance on Thursday.
Commenting on Will and Kate’s participation Friday at the Anzac Day services, The Governor General stated in his speech “I’m so pleased, I am delighted, that you will be here in Canberra to take part,” Sir Peter said.
The gala was an end to a busy day for the Royal couple.
Earlier in the day, the Royal parents played with some children and planted a tree at Canberra’s National Arboretum. They then were off to the National Portrait Gallery to view an array of the gallery’s portraits.
— TEN Eyewitness News (@channeltennews) April 24, 2014
Following the gallery visit, William and Kate attended a reception at the Great Hall in Parliament House, where William delivered a warm and endearing speech:
“Australia has a quality of life and a level of excellence that makes it a magnet: an enormously attractive place to live, trade, invest, and indeed just visit. The arts and sciences flourish; Australian sporting success is legendary; agriculture – from the traditional to the technologically most advanced – is hugely successful. This is a country that is in the front rank internationally.”
The duke also made mention of the couple’s participation in Anzac Day on Friday and noted that he and his brother Harry would join in remembering next years centenary of Gallipoli:
Over the years, Australians have fought bravely for freedom in numerous conflicts. As those who were involved pass on, succeeding generations must remember and keep vivid the sacrifice they made. Catherine and I look forward to paying tribute to them at tomorrow’s ANZAC Day commemoration; and – with my brother Harry – to taking part in next year’s Gallipoli centenary.
Prime Minister Abbot stated in his address that: “Many decades, hence, when a currently unknowable Australian Prime Minister welcomes your son, King George VII to this building, that will be a sign of the stability and the continuity in the life of our nation.’’
The Duke and Duchess will attend the Anzac Day commemoration on Friday where they will place a wreath before planting a ‘Lone Pine Tree’ in the Memorial Garden.
After the ceremony, The Royal Party departs for Australia Defence Establishment at Fairbairn where they will depart Canberra on the RAAF aircraft to transfer to an international commercial flight to London.
Photo Credit: @britishroyals and @DashRoyal