Camilla cuddles a baby kangaroo as she gets a taste of life in the Australian outback on Diamond Jubilee tour
15:23 GMT, 5 November 2012
She has only just stepped foot on the dusty red soil of rural Queensland, but the Duchess of Cornwall has wasted no time in getting to grips with life in the Australian outback on her first visit to the country.
A beaming Camilla, who arrived in Australia today with her husband Prince Charles, gamely held a baby kangaroo swaddled in a towel – although her face betrayed her alarm at one point as the creature shifted in her arms.
The injured joey is being nursed back to health by a local couple, who brought the kangaroo along to greet Charles and Camilla as they arrived in the town of Longreach, Queensland, on their Diamond Jubilee tour.
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Bundle of joey: A beaming Duchess of Cornwall cuddles the baby kangaroo in Australia today
While the Duchess of Cornwall gamely held the injured kangaroo wrapped in a towel, she looked a little alarmed by the creature at one point
Rooby Bloo is being nursed back to
healthy by Carley and Nicholas Walker after it was discovered in its
dead mother's pouch at the side of a road. The adult kangaroo had
bounded into the path of a lorry.
Duchess, who said she was relieved to hear the baby kangaroo was on the
road to recovery, even held the cute creature herself, declaring:
'Well, there's a first time for everything.'
a lovely thing they're doing,' she said of the Walker couple when
Prince Charles wandered over to see what all the fuss was about.
G'day Ruby: The Duchess of Cornwall pets baby kangaroo Ruby Bloo in Longreach, Australia, during her 13-day tour of the southern hemisphere with husband Prince Charles
Camilla shielded herself from the Antipodean sun as she disembarked the jet behind her husband Prince Charles
As the temperature soared to 40C, the royal couple stepped from their jet at Longreach so that Camilla, who kept her cool in a green floral sundress, could experience a taste of Australian life away from the big cities.
As they attended a community barbecue in the town the jetlagged Prince of Wales said it was worth feeling 'a few sausages short of a barbie' for the pleasure of being in Australia to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
'I'm so jetlagged that I feel a few sausages short of a barbie'
Sporting an iconic akubra hat he received at the Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame, Prince Charles told guests of the fond memories he has of the country – including vivid recollections of funnel web spiders and kangaroos from his time at Geelong Grammar School in Melbourne in 1966.
'Even though … I'm so jetlagged that I feel a few sausages short of a barbie, it is a great joy to be back in Australia again,' he said to raucous laughter.
But he said a lot had changed since he first travelled to Australia, particularly attitudes.
'In those days… the place seemed to be full of people rushing headlong into bars to down whole lines of schooners before early closing,' he said.
'Now the latest figures reveal Aussies attend more cultural events than any head of population, than any nation on earth, and they also read more books.'
Queensland Governor Penelope Wensley told the crowd the couple chose the ideal location for their visit to the state, as rural areas were where Queensland spirit and 'mateship' shone brightest.
Premier Campbell Newman publicly thanked the royal family for their support during the state's floods and cyclones in 2011.
The royal couple stayed to meet local families before departing for Victoria in preparation for the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday.
Aussie barbie: The Duchess of Cornwall – on her first trip to Australia – enjoyed one of the country's most famous institutions with her husband Prince Charles; the barbecue
The Duchess kept her cool in a floral sundress in soaring 40C temperatures in western Queensland today
It is the first day of the royal couple's six-day tour of Australia following their three-day visit to Papua New Guinea, where they were greeted by thousands of well-wishers everywhere they went.
And it wasn't the future king of England who was creating the biggest stir in the South Pacific, but rather his relaxed and glowing wife.
All eyes were on Camilla when she and her husband met with a group of Australian Second World War veterans in the capital Port Moresby – and one 90-year-old ex-soldier admitted to being 'a little bit' smitten with the Duchess.
Glowing: The Duchess of Cornwall laughs as she chats with one of the Australian war veterans in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Fresh from a break at a holistic retreat in southern India, the tanned Duchess laughed and chatted with the elderly men, all survivors of the fighting on the Kokoda Trail, where Australian and Papua New Guinea forces held off Japanese troops in 1942 as they tried to push through to the nation's capital Port Moresby.
Len Griffiths, 90, rested his hand on Camilla's as they chatted, and when he learned that her Diamond Jubilee tour would take in the Australian capital Canberra, he announced: 'Oh, I will put you up.'
Another former soldier, on being told by the Duchess of Cornwall that she would like to visit Western Australia, said: 'I'm not getting any younger – you had better be quick.'
After the meeting, Mr Griffiths was asked if he had been smitten by the Duchess, to which the smiling veteran replied: 'Yes a little bit. She is a charming lady.'
The Duchess of Cornwall was presented with gifts from the veterans as her Diamond Jubilee tour of Papua New Guinea drew to a close
'Charming lady': The meeting was arranged at the last minute after the royal party discovered the veterans were staying in the same hotel in Papua New Guinea
Charles and Camilla, whose father fought in North Africa, met with the veterans at the last minute as their stint in Papua New Guinea came to a close, after the royal party discovered they were staying in the same hotel.
MEET 'MISIS BILONG MI': PRINCE CHARLES' WARM INTRODUCTION OF 'MY WIFE' CAMILLA
Prince Charles wowed crowds of well-wishers gathered in the capital of Port Moresby by addressing his audience in Pidgin English.
Introducing the Duchess of Cornwall as 'misis bilong mi', or 'my wife', the Prince of Wales referred to himself as 'mi nambwan pikinini bilong misis kwin'd' – meaning that he is the number one child, the first born, of the Queen.
Tok Pisin, or Pidgin, is one of the three national languages of Papua New Guinea, alongside English and Motu.
Beginner's guide to Pidgin vocabulary:
Queen: Misis Kwin
The former WWII soldiers were on a trip to Papua New Guinea to reflect on one of the pivotal battles of the war.
The Duchess, whose father Major Bruce Shand spent three years as a Prisoner of War after being captured at the Battle of El Alamein, said: 'I felt I ought to be here because my father was in the war and I know he would have liked to see me here with all of you.'
Recalling the fighting, former soldier Bob Iskov, aged 92, said: 'We lost 109 people from my battalion on the track, and 29 missing who were never seen again.
'It was just horrendous.'
The Prince of Wales and his wife have been in Papua New Guinea since Saturday and are due to leave for Australia today.
Ahead of the tour Camilla spent a week
at the Soukya International Holistic Centre in Bangalore – where she is
thought to have stayed in the centre's 3,500-a-night presidential
As a yoga devotee, she is likely to have taken advantage of customised dawn yoga sessions and 'spiritually healing' Ayurvedic massages at the plush resort.
Fresh from a stay at a holistic retreat in Bangalore, India, Camilla has looked fresh-faced and healthy on the first leg of a Diamond Jubilee Tour with her husband Prince Charles
Holiday glow: The smiling Duchess seems to be enjoying every minute of her Diamond Jubilee tour
Over the weekend thousands of well-wishers gathered in Papua New Guinea to greet the Duchess and the Prince of Wales on the first leg of the tour to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
Prince Charles endeared himself to the nation by speaking in Pidgin English at a cultural welcoming ceremony in the capital Port Moresby, while the increasingly popular Duchess – or as her husband referred to her 'misis bilong mi' – received an unexpected kiss from a local woman on a visit to the fishing village of Boera.
Jenny Lohia, 24, gave Camilla a peck on the cheek as she placed a valuable necklace made of shells around the royal's neck as a welcome gift.
'I'm so proud of myself for giving her that kiss,' she said afterwards.
'It's one in a million.'
'One in a million': Jenny Lohia gave the Duchess a peck on the cheek as she presented her with a necklace in the fishing village of Boera
Crowds gathered to greet Charles and Camilla as they were driven to a welcome ceremony at the Sir John Guise Stadium during their tour of Papua New Guinea
On their next stop in Australia the royal couple will take in four major cities; Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, as well as the island state of Tasmania.
The pair are due to attend the Melbourne Races tomorrow where the Duchess – a passionate horse-racing fan – will present the winning trophy.
VIDEO: Camilla cuddles Kangaroo & Charles complains about lack of Marmite
VIDEO: Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall arriving in Australia