Prince William Down Under: Sky UK
Written by ACM   
Sunday, 17 January 2010

"Why is he coming?”  Mike Keating, leader of Australia’s republican movement, asked Sarah Hughes, Sky UK’s Royal correspondent, “William Down Under For First Official Tour “ (16/1).  “ He's not the first in line to the throne. He knows nothing about Australia, on his own acknowledgement.”

“"I'm not sure when he's coming,” Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told Sky while he was at the recent Copenhagen summit on global warming. “ But I'll say hi and I'll buy him a beer or two."

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A "vox pop" in the streets and at the beach indicated interest and approval of the Prince. 

David Flint, of the campaign group Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, told Ms. Hughes: "He could very easily be a playboy prince. "But he is a young man who has eschewed leisure and taken up service."He has given himself to serve in the Armed Forces and also in relation to a number of very important charities."Mr Flint added: "I think Australians will react very well and will very much like Prince William.

Sydney is planning for crowds, reported the very elegant Ms.Hughes. The New South Wales Tourism Minister Jodi MacKay told her the Prince has  "global pull" and said the city is expecting some "Prince William mania".

As ACM has pointed out, the tourism returns from the visit will be substantial for Australia.

Ms. Hughes reports that the Prince  is  said to be excited about the trip, having heard much about Australia from his father and his brother Harry, who spent part of his gap year there.His advisers are adamant he is not visiting the country to drum up support for the monarchy, or to get embroiled in politics.

It is, they say, simply a chance for him to get to know Australia and its people - and vice versa. “After all, one day he could be their king.”