The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge plant a tree at the National Arboretum
The Duke of Cambridge has paid tribute to Australia, describing the nation as a 'magnet' for investors, visitors and those wanting a better quality of life during a day of engagements in Canberra. His Royal Highness praised his hosts' legendary sporting prowess, flourishing arts and the important role they played on the world stage.
In advance of Anzac Day, the national day of remembrance for the nation's war dead, The Duke spoke of events which he and other members of the Royal Family would take part in to commemorate the centenary of the First World War's Gallipoli campaign in 2015. His Royal Highness made his speech following a visit to the National Arboretum where The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge planted a tree and visited a new playground.
Speaking at a reception hosted by Prime Minister Tony Abbott at Parliament House in Canberra, The Duke of Cambridge told guests, '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.
'We have both seen all this for ourselves. Australia may be known as 'the Lucky Country', but often the harder you work, the luckier you get. Australians make their own luck.
'The distinct Aussie formula that has fashioned such a dynamic society is the source of admiration and envy around the world.'
The Duchess of Cambridge meets crowds outside the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have spent more than a week visiting Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, and the iconic landmark of Uluru. His Royal Highness added: 'There is so much to admire about Australia. Catherine and I acknowledge the timeless values of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
'They have been the custodians of this ancient and majestic continent for thousands of years. The traditional owners' stories, and the magnificent and moving rock art at Uluru, which we saw for ourselves, are a priceless inheritance. They tell us not just about the past but provide a precious vision for the future.'
Prime Minister Tony Abbott also spoke at the event, looking back to The Duke's previous visit in 2011: 'We have seen in you, sir, during both your visits, through your words and through your deeds, the decency and the sense of duty of your father and the compassion of your mother.'
He added: 'Your grandmother, the Queen, opened this building in 1988. And your father, the Prince of Wales, has been here many, many times.
'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.'
Their Royal Highnesses went on to visit the National Portrait Gallery of Australia before attending a reception given by the Governor-General and Lady Cosgrove at Government House. The Duchess of Cambridge has a keen interest in art, having studied History of Art at university. She is Patron of the National Portrait Gallery in London.
Earlier in the day, Their Royal Highnesses visited the National Arboretum, where they planted an English Oak tree. Following devastating bushfires in Canberra in 2003, the ACT government dedicated an area of burnt-out pine forest to the west of the city to be used as the arboretum.
After visiting the National Portrait Gallery, The Duke and Duchess ended their day in Canberra at a reception hosted by the Governor General and Lady Cosgrove at Government House, where they met members of the Australian community from a number of fields including agriculture, conservation, the arts, business and charitable groups.
A speech by The Duke of Cambridge at Parliament House, Canberra
Published on 24th April 2014
Prime Minister, Mr President, Madam Speaker, Chief Justice, Leader of the Opposition, Ministers and Members of Parliament, members of the Diplomatic Corps, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen thank you for your truly warm welcome.
When Catherine and I arrived in Sydney last week, I said how much we had been looking forward to this visit. Drawing on my own experience, I told Catherine that it would be wonderful, and so it has been. Anticipation has become deep admiration.
There is so much to admire about Australia. Catherine and I acknowledge the timeless values of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. They have been the custodians of this ancient and majestic continent for thousands of years. The Traditional Owners’ stories, and the magnificent and moving rock art at Uluru, which we saw for ourselves, are a priceless inheritance. They tell us not just about the past but provide a precious vision for the future.
Catherine and I had the privilege earlier this week of visiting Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, which is committed through conservation to just such custodianship. And I know, too, how important Australian support has been for the global consortium, United for Wildlife, which is fighting the scourge of the illegal trade in wildlife, and poaching, something very close to my heart.
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 ...Read full speech