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Saturday, October 29, 2011

I'm royalty, get me out of here! Prince Philip faces Bushtucker Trial in front of nearly 100,000 people on last day of Australia tour

-The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh joined in giant BBQ at the end of 11-day royal visit before boarding a plane home

By Emma Reynolds

Bonzer barbie mate: A cheerful Prince Philip gamely joins in a record-breaking Aussie cook-off wearing a suit and Panama-style hat

He may be 90 years old, but Prince Philip was ready for any challenge the Aussies could throw at him on the final day of the royal tour Down Under.

The Duke of Edinburgh gamely flipped a steak as he joined in a record-breaking barbie in Perth before he and the Queen bade goodbye to Australia.

But Philip could not be persuaded into sampling the chef's barbecued shellfish at the end of the 16-day state visit, telling him, 'I'm not in the mood'.

Poised in pink: The Queen looks stern-faced as she stands in the glaring sunlight beside her husband and Perth Mayor Lisa Scaffidi for the national anthem

Satisfied chef Vincent Garreffa said: 'We had a ribeye steak and a pork cutlet which were waiting to be turned, and he did us proud.'

The prawns, crayfish and scallops the chef offered up were a step too far for the intrepid prince, however, who kept out of the glaring sun under a Panama-style hat.

Nearly 100,000 people joined in the barbecue on the banks of Swan River, where the hungry hordes devoured 130,000 sausages, 8,000 loaves of bread, 60,000 litres of sauce and 150,000 drinks.

The prince was presented with a book of barbecue recipes for his troubles, which may come in useful for stately entertaining after the Prime Minister's summer's picnic for the Obamas proved something of a damb squib.

The Queen, who was tempted this week by kangaroo stew, was again feeling peckish after TV chef Anna Gare showed her some Turkish lamb sausages with onion marmalade and tomato and pear chutney.

Ms Gare, Ben Elton's sister-in-law, said afterwards: 'The Queen was gorgeous, she totally sparkled. She was very interested in the type of sausages we had. She said she had such a lovely time in Perth.'

The Queen has received a rapturous welcome during her 11-day tour and tens of thousands of people gathered in Perth for a final glimpse of the royal couple.

Her Majesty told the crowd: 'We have been overwhelmed by your kindness and support.

'Once again we will return to the United Kingdom with fond memories of our time here and the warm Australian welcome we have received on our 16th visit to this beautiful country.'

The Queen also chatted to five schoolgirls who helped at the barbecue.

Chloe Dann, 11, said the Queen asked what they were cooking.

'I told her we cooked some sausages with some spices and stuff on them.'

See ya later: The adoring crowd wave goodbye to their Queen as she boards a flight home from Perth

Thanks Bruce: The monarch offers a gloved hand to the governor of Western Australia, Malcolm McCusker, as her 11-day tour comes to an end

Myra Agnew was hoping to see the Queen for a second time. 'Twenty-three years ago my daughter Catherine gave her flowers and we came with flowers today and tried to give them again but we were one barricade behind and couldn’t get forward,' she said.

But Mrs Agnew was still pleased to have gone to the event. 'The Queen is part of our history, no matter what people want to say,' she added.

'She’s a magnificent person and a lot of people admire her for what she does and I do think we all need to belong somewhere.

'We are part of the Commonwealth and I think it’s a good thing.'

British pride: The Queen receives David Cameron at the banquet she hosted to mark the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting

The trip had political significance as the Commonwealth leaders' summit agreed yesterday to put royal daughters on the same footing as sons. Those in line for the throne will also be allowed to marry Roman Catholics for the first time in 300 years without giving up their claim.

Some predict the 85-year-old Queen's visit will be her last, but Buckingham Palace dismissed rumours it was a farewell tour.

A royal source said: 'The Queen and Duke have really enjoyed themselves. The Queen has been bowled over by the reaction.'

The main purpose of the tour was to allow the Queen to open the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, and she presided over the launch ceremony before hosting a lavish banquet in honour of the world leaders.

Her visit ended with a low-key farewell on the tarmac at Perth International Airport.

The couple's chartered British Airways jet was flying the sovereign's Australian standard from the pilot's cockpit window, as several hundred well-wishers gathered behind a wire mesh fence to see them off.

As the monarch's motorcade arrived, Governor General Quentin Bryce and her husband Michael greeted the royal couple as they emerged from their Range Rover.

The two women chatted for a few minutes before the head of state was introduced to federal and state representatives.

The royal couple climbed the plane's steps and the Queen clung on to the brim of her hat in the blustery weather while the pair waved goodbye.

A cheer went up from the spectators watching from 100 metres away and senior members of the royal household followed the Queen on to the plane.

They are due to arrive back in the UK in the early hours of tomorrow morning.



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