Prince Harry proved such a hit during his recent trip to Australia he should return – and stay longer – Prime Minister Tony Abbott says.
The prince spent just 36 hours Down Under during a visit last month to celebrate the centenary of the country’s navy – but caused what was dubbed “Harry mania”.
Speaking during a Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka, which was opened by the Prince of Wales, Abbott said: “It would be a good idea if he did what his father did and came out for a longer time.”
Charles developed a deep affection for Australia when, in 1966, he spent about six months as an exchange student at Timbertop, a remote outpost of the Geelong Church of England Grammar School in Melbourne.
Abbott made the remarks as he attended a lunch reception hosted by Charles in Colombo for new Commonwealth leaders.
Speaking to other politicians, he added: “Prince Harry came to Australia recently and he’s a knockabout guy. He took Sydney by storm. He would be welcome back to Australia any time.”
Harry returned from Sydney last month after attending the International Fleet Review to celebrate the Australian Navy’s 100th anniversary.
He also spent a few months in the country in 2003 as a jackeroo working at a cattle station during a gap year.
Charles did not hear the comments about his son but when he chatted to Abbott the conversation turned to the quality of Australian wine compared to English.
The Australian prime minister explained to the prince that he had been handed a glass of Camel Valley sparkling wine produced in Cornwall.
Charles told the politician: “Of course the Australian ones are much better.”
Abbott then replied: “I have been angling for that compliment for some time.”
The prince then recalled how he flew over the Penfolds wine estate when he arrived in Australia in the sixties.