THE RYDGES POST
Well – the much anticipated Royal Tour 2014 has kicked off and it will undoubtedly bring a lot of happiness to a lot of people, including Wills, Kate, George and the entourage. In some ways these modern Royals are a paradox – on one hand, they seem so ‘ordinary’ – William carrying the hand luggage with Kate carrying the baby, travelling on a commercial airline (and two future monarchs on the same plane breaks with traditional protocol!) and only eleven in the entourage. It is a hard gig to pull off successfully – Kate needs a hairdresser or the public and press will criticise her – no one wants to see oodles of luggage but she can’t be seen in the same frock twice and of course they need a nanny – they can’t be on the official podium at some ribbon-cutting ceremony and say, “Pardon me, back in twenty minutes the lad needs a feed.” We don't believe they brought the dog.
By royal standards, it appears a pretty relaxed tour of duty – after nine days in New Zealand, nine days in Australia. They arrive in Sydney on April 16 for a reception at the Opera House after which they will flit across the harbour for a sleepover at the new, recently knighted Governor General’s Sydney residence, Admiralty House. As nice as Auckland and Wellington harbours are, they will have to be the warm-up acts.
The timing in Sydney is excellent – they get to go to the Royal Easter Show and to Taronga Park Zoo where little George has a bilby exhibit named after him. With luck he could score a chocolate bilby in his showbag! They also get to visit the Blue Mountains, the RAAF base in Brisbane as well as a city reception, flit across to Uluru, down to Adelaide and over to Canberra for the National Portrait Gallery and Parliament House. Also lovely timing because they will be there for the Anzac Day service and march.
The aim, as with all such tours, is for the Royal guests to appear totally relaxed, enjoy meeting the throngs behind the barriers, pat koalas, be concerned when appropriate and say lots of nice things without being controversial. Meanwhile, the security people stay in a state of panic ensuring all the above is possible while the paparazzi and media commentators jostle for the best photos and stories. All good fun and a wonderful diversion… and they would be made just as welcome if we were a republic!
If you travel from out of town, Rydges is well-placed to accommodate Royal-watchers in Wellington, Auckland, Queenstown & Christchutch in NZ and for the Australian leg - World Square Sydney, North Sydney, Parramatta (for the Royal Easter Show), South Bank in Brisbane, Adelaide and Capital Hill in Canberra. For all Rydges hotel locations, click here.