News National Royals turn on the charm in Brisbane

Royals turn on the charm in Brisbane

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They always come with great pomp and ceremony but Queenslanders are struck by just how down to earth the Duke and Duchess are.

From drought-stricken farmers, to sporting greats and the state’s top politicians, all have been humbled by rubbing shoulders with Their Royal Highnesses.

Queensland Governor Penelope Wensley and Premier Campbell Newman dashed back to Brisbane from Amberley to welcome the royal couple for the second time in a day.

Grazier Barry Hughes says Prince William was genuinely interested in the plight of the state’s farmers.

“He wanted to know about the weather, he was so open and focused on what I was saying,” Mr Hughes said.

Mr Hughes reminded the Duke that his grandmother’s horse Carlton House was racing in Sydney.

“Is that today,” the surprised Duke said, smiling as he checked his watch.

“He was very pleased the Queen’s horse was racing here in Australia,” Mr Hughes added.

The youngest person to sail around the world solo, Jessica Watson, was humbled by the Duchess.

“You feel like you know them, and they treat you like you do,” she said.

“The Duchess is apparently quite a good sailor, I’m glad even she’s able to get out on the water, everyone should.”

Starstruck sporting heroes Johnathan Thurston and Jharal Yow Yeh nodded seriously as they briefly chatted with the Duke.

But as Prince William moved to the next people, the beaming rugby league stars high-fived each other and fist-pumped like school boys.

Mr Newman said he was honoured to have the royals in Queensland, but said he wished they had brought big beautiful bouncing baby George with them.

“He clearly needs a rest and there’s no better place to have a rest than Sydney,” the premier joked.

“If however, you want excitement in the state of opportunity, a dynamic, wonderful place, the place to be is Queensland and we would welcome him in the future.”

More than 200 charity, community political, legal and business figures attended the special gala event.