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04.24.14

William and Kate Bid Farewell To Australasia

Royal couple leave tomorrow

Prince William saluted Australia today in a speech on the eve of their departure from the country after a three-week tour of Australasia which even the most committed Republican would be forced to concede was a success.

kate-aus
Stefan Postles

"Reluctantly, Catherine, George and I leave Australia tomorrow. Thank you for the warmth and generosity that has been shown to us during our visit," he said.

"We go away with wonderful memories, and George goes away with his cuddly wombat, which he has taken to chewing so lovingly. We greatly look forward to coming back. And when we do return, it will be to marvel again at all that Australia is, and will yet become."

Wiiliam was speaking at a reception for 600 guests at Parliament House attended by film stars, Olympic athletes, fashion designers, decorated war heroes and politicians.

Off stage, however the Prince was more informal - Vicki Kelly, wife of MP Craig Kelly, said: "Prince William said he was hoping to rip off his pants down at the beach with Tony Abbott to reveal their Speedos."

Tomorrow, the last day of the visit, is ANZAC Day.

Originally, the 25th of April marked the sacrifice of Australian and New Zealand forces in the Gallipoli campaign in the First World War. Now, the date is used to commemorate those who have died in all conflicts.

William and Kate will attend the ANZAC Day March and Commemorative Service at the Australian War Memorial before departing Defence Establishment Fairbairn, Canberra, for London.