‘Fingers crossed Dubbo’s as good as they say!’
THE excitement and momentum is building around the region as the date for the Royal Visit gets closer and closer.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (we know them best as Prince Harry and Meaghan) will be in Dubbo on October 17 and, as Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said in Parliament last week, this will be a momentous occasion.
At a time when Western NSW is still in the grips of a drought, Mr Coulton said “the Royal visit to Dubbo will be a very welcome event in what is a challenging time for many”.
The thought of royals visiting our zoo and walking our streets has many locals remembering past visits, or their own brushes with royalty in other parts of the world.
Dubbo Photo News is compiling as many of your stories and photos as we can, to share with the whole city closer to the date of the royal visit.
Inside today, Dubbo Photo News journo Natalie Holmes shares her “brush with royalty” story. We’re on the lookout for more. Details on how you can share your story are also inside.
Many of us have had a “brush with royalty”. As the excitement builds in anticipation of the royal visit to Dubbo by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex next month, we’d love you to share your story of your own brush with royalty. To help get you inspired to write, our own journo NATALIE HOLMES shares her favourite story.
I ARRIVED in the United Kingdom in the first week of April 2002. The people of England were in mourning for the Queen Mother, who had passed away at the ripe old age of 101. My friend pointed out that she had arrived in similar circumstances upon the death of Princess Diana some years earlier.
Until then, I didn’t know much about the Royal Family, other than Queen Elizabeth II’S role as the ruling Monarch of Australia. Given that I had voted in a referendum for Australia to become a republic, I had often wondered whether the Royal Family was an outdated tradition for a nation as modern and diverse as Australia.
Caught up in the touristy culture, I visited the Tower of London where the story of the Royals is steeped in history. There’s plenty of skeletons in that family closet, which gave me an insight into some of the bolder personalities who had ruled the Empire.
After moving to Scotland, I saw a different side of the Monarchy. In my experience, the Scots didn’t have a lot of respect for these traditions and many would have liked to see Scotland gain independence. And yet, when they too had a national referendum in 2014, more than half the population voted against the prospect.
I had visited Buckingham
Palace and the Queen’s residence in Edinburgh, Holyrood Palace, where a Scottish friend used to joke that he could call in to ‘borrow a cup of sugar from dear Betty’.
Then came the announcement that the Queen would be visiting Edinburgh. There was much excitement in the air as we joined the hordes of people lining the Royal Mile waving Union Jack flags. This small nation for which William Wallace had fought suddenly found itself in the grip of Royal fever! When the Queen passed by in her horse-drawn carriage, wearing a lime green coat, we all oohed, aahed and waved. It happened so quickly that my friend’s description ‘was a flash of green and a horse’s tail’ and she was gone. The next day, we made the front page of the Edinburgh Evening News. It was certainly special news to share with our mums back in Australia, and a special keepsake to this day.
When it was announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would soon visit Dubbo, it was also exciting news. As Royal fever builds in our fair city, it won’t matter whether residents are Royalists or Republicans, it will no doubt be a memorable occasion for everyone. z Have you had a brush with royalty? Share your story in 500 words or less – and include a photo if you have one – by emailing editor@ dubbophotonews.com.au or drop in/mail to 89 Wingewarra Street, Dubbo 2830.