Magic of a prince in Tully
ANY little girl could tell you there is magic in the air when a prince comes to town.
On Saturday afternoon I received a largely incoherent phone call from my mother in Tully.
Eventually I was able to figure out she was squealing from excitement because after patiently staking out her place at the showgrounds for more than an hour, she had shaken hands with Prince William.
‘‘ He was so lovely, so like his mother, a real people’s person, you know? He had time for everyone,’’ she gushed.
The last time I received such an energetic phone call from my normally placid mother was when Cyclone Yasi was hurtling towards my home town and she wanted to sob out a hysterical final goodbye.
Tully and Cardwell hit international headlines for all the wrong reasons last month so it’s wonderful to see the towns back on the front pages in happier circumstances.
Someone had obviously told Prince William what North Queenslanders already knew – these little towns are incredible places filled with equally amazing people.
It’s a shame Prince William’s visit drew the predictable outcry from the rabid republicans, although it was satisfying to note their protests were largely overshadowed by the excitement surrounding the royal visit.
The people of Tully and Cardwell don’t care about the political debate over Australia’s status as a monarchy.
All that matters is the prince has taken the time to travel from the other side of the world just to visit them and listen to their stories.
For Cardwell’s 102-year-old Betty Evans, meeting Prince William was a highlight in the twilight years of a long life well lived.
Little Clare Mooney will be able to tell her grandchildren how, as a cheeky six-year-old, she proposed marriage to a prince.
Before she married my father, my mother was married briefly to a man whom she discovered was more toad than prince.
As an act of defiance she had a jeweller shatter the diamond on her engagement ring and replicate the sapphire ring worn by Princess Diana, a strong woman whom she idolised.
Meeting the son of the woman she has long admired has brought a smile back to her face as she waits patiently for the insurance company to decide when the leaking roof of her house can be replaced.
I understand the royal family evokes strong emotions in many people.
But when so many of those emotions are positive ones, to me there’s no question that a royal visit was just what North Queensland needed.