The first official numbers of Gareth Cliff’s new online venture CliffCentral have been released

Celebrities have taken to social media to express their opinions over Israel’s attack on Gaza

PNG welcomes Charles and Camilla

2012-11-03 14:33
 
Port Moresby - Britain's Prince Charles and wife Camilla arrived in Papua New Guinea on Saturday where they were welcomed with a 21-gun salute and traditional songs and dances as a threatened protest failed to materialise.

Several thousand well-wishers had earlier gathered at Port Moresby's Jackson's International Airport to catch a glimpse of the royal couple who are on a tour from 3-16 November which includes Australia and New Zealand.

Among those greeting the royal visitors were scores of school children as well as young dancers daubed in body paint and wearing traditional dress.

Anticipation for the visit, which is part of Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, had been building in impoverished PNG, with the Post-Courier newspaper on Friday declaring: "Welcome to Papua New Guinea, Your Royal Highnesses Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla!"

The paper said the visit would be like a "home-coming" for Charles who first travelled to PNG in the 1960s when he was an exchange student in Australia and stayed at the Martyrs' Memorial Anglican School for boys in Northern Province.

"The Prince did not stay with the school principal," it said. "He stayed with the boys at Sefoa Garden House, slept with them, ate kaukau [yams] and bananas and did what they did."

Land protest

Charles has been back to the Pacific nation twice since, but it is the first visit for Camilla, who has reportedly been on a private holiday at a holistic health retreat in India ahead of their arrival.

Britain proclaimed a protectorate over what became known as British New Guinea in the late 1800s. Australia later took over but Papua New Guinea proceeded to full independence in 1975.

The royals touched down as scheduled, untroubled by disgruntled local landowners who had threatened to disrupt the arrival, claiming they are still owed around $2.1m in compensation for the land on which Port Moresby's airport is built.

"If it means shutting down the airport on the arrival of Prince Charles, then we can do it and face the consequences," their spokesperson Kila Joe Gabutu had said last week.

Instead, a joyous crowd of several thousand people cheered the couple, earning the smiles and waves of the prince and duchess.

PNG's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill had encouraged his people to welcome the British visitors whose trip follows that of Prince William and his wife Catherine to the Pacific states of the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

On the agenda


"Their Royal Highnesses are honoured guests and their visit reflects the strong relationship between PNG, Her Majesty The Queen, our Head of State, and the Royal Family," O'Neill said ahead of the visit.

While in PNG, Charles and Camilla are due to visit the capital Port Moresby and also Boera village, where locals are restoring coastal mangroves.

Traditional sing-sings will be on the agenda, where tribes or villages gather to show off their distinct culture, dance and music, dressing in elaborate costumes and war paint.

The couple leave PNG on Monday for Australia and wrap up their tour in New Zealand.

- AFP

Read more on:    prince charles  |  royalty

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Recent News

A former British tabloid reporter has been given a 10-month suspended prison sentence for his role in the phone hacking scandal that shook Rupert Murdoch's media empire. Read More »

Actors and actresses have taken to social media to express their opinions over Israel’s attack on Gaza. Read More »

inside channel 24

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.