Sports stars, soldiers and rockers – that’s who the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have spent their final night in Australia with.
Exclusive, intimate and social.
That’s how the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent their last night in Australia – mingling with sports and rock stars, soldiers and world record breakers at their home-away-from-home in Canberra.
They’ve met many Australians on their tour but Kate and William’s last formal reception was with young high achievers at government house in Yarralumla.
Governor General Peter Cosgrove no doubt echoed everyone’s thoughts when he told the royal couple: “They’re all eager to meet you.”
Former world surfing champion Layne Beachley and her husband, INXS rocker Kirk Pengilly, were the first to speak to Prince William, while Kate chose to first greet Victoria Cross recipient, SAS Trooper Mark Donaldson.
He and his fellow VC recipients Corporals Daniel Keighran and Ben Roberts-Smith were among four Australians awarded the honour for their actions in Afghanistan. Corporal Cameron Baird was awarded the VC posthumously earlier this year.
Australia’s fourth surviving VC recipient, Keith Payne, was not in attendance.
The governor general said it was fortunate Australia would have the royals as company at Anzac Day services in Canberra on Friday.
World record breaking sailor Jessica Watson was among the guests, brightening the formal gathering in a blue and white dress as the royal couple walked by her into the reception.
Dual international soccer player and cricketer Ellyse Perry echoed the duchess’s white cocktail dress by US designer Lela Rose with a cream and white sheer number, while retiring soccer player Harry Kewell had his beaming wife, English actress Sheree Murphy, by his side.
Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop sipped champagne as he patiently waited to greet Kate and William.
There was no sign of Prince George however, who apparently slept peacefully a few doors away from the gathering in the drawing room.
The event capped off a busy day for the duke and duchess.
After playing with children and planting a tree at Canberra’s National Arboretum, they charmed ministers, dignitaries and corporate leaders at Parliament House.
They then weaved their way through the National Portrait Gallery to view some of its prized portraits – where at one point Kate came face to face with a portrait of Australia’s homegrown royalty, Danish Crown Princess Mary.