Prince Charles has opened the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Carrara Stadium on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II.
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall received the warmest welcome from Indigenous Elders at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony. As protesters prevailed outside the arena, the general sentiment inside was that of acknowledgement, understanding, and respect.
Charles and Camilla were welcomed by Yugambeh Elder Ted Williams as he delivered his opening remarks before Sally Pearson delivered the baton in the centre of the stadium.
Prince Charles then delivered a message on behalf of his mother, The Queen. The Prince said: “The ancient stories told by the Indigenous people of Australia remind us that even though we may be half a world away, we are all connected.”
He added that “over the years these friendly games have shown the potential of the Commonwealth to connect people of different backgrounds and nationalities.”
His Royal Highness finally got down to business and said: “Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, it now gives me the greatest pleasure to declare the 21st Commonwealth Games open.”
The Prince of Wales last opened the Commonwealth Games on behalf of his mother in Delhi in 2010; additionally, the Prince and Duchess of Cornwall were with The Queen when she opened the Games in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2014.
Though an avid supporter of the Australian republic, The Prince and Duchess were seen mingling with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull throughout the ceremony.
Commonwealth Games Federation President Louise Martin and Games Corporation chairman Peter Beattie were on hand to greet and escort Their Royal Highnesses straight up to a welcome reception with dignitaries from the 71st Commonwealth Games associations.
Their Royal Highnesses visit was not without its drama as two policemen riding in their motorcade were injured when their motorcycles collided. It did not impact the convoy or its movement.