By Ellen Hill – Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism
Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and baby Prince George will visit the Blue Mountains during the Sydney leg of their trip “down under’’ from April 16 to 20.
The visit was announced yesterday (Monday, March 3) by NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell.
Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism (BMLOT) chairman Daniel Myles welcomed the honour.
“I am very proud that BMLOT was invited to assist in the arrangements for the visit to the Blue Mountains by the young royal couple.
“It is a wonderful secret a very small and tight-lipped group within the official regional tourism organisation has kept faithfully for some time. Of course we are delighted it has now been revealed and excited at the prospect of the royal visit.
“The Blue Mountains is one of the most recognisable, not to mention magnificent locations on the planet. It is fitting that one of the most recognisable couples in the world visit it.’’
The Blue Mountains, has been a favourite royal tour location for almost a century.
The most celebrated visit was that of the then Duke and Duchess of York in March 1927.
On March 31 of that year, the royal couple arrived at Katoomba by train and walked the short distance from the railway station to The Carrington Hotel (the first resort-style hotel in Australia’s first tourist destination, the Blue Mountains).
Huge crowds greeted them. After lunch, they were driven to Echo Point, home of the Three Sisters, where thousands lined the streets.
The Echo newspaper reported that the Duchess was overheard to say: “ `Look at those clouds! Isn’t it wonderful.’ The Duke’s reply was unintelligible, but his face maintained its customary passivity.’’
The royal couple also visited Jenolan Caves during that tour.
“It’s a wonderful honour to have Their Royal Highnesses visit NSW so soon after the birth of their first child,’’ Mr O’Farrell said.
“I know the royal couple and the young Prince will receive a very warm welcome from the people of NSW, who will be keen to get their first glimpse of Prince George.
“I’m especially delighted The Duke and Duchess will be visiting the Blue Mountains to view the recovery and offer comfort and support to those affected by the devastating October bushfires.
“The visit of Danish royals Prince Fredrick and Princess Mary late last year to the Blue Mountains was a great morale boost for the residents in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, and this trip from The Duke and Duchess will demonstrate the region has recovered, is open for business and a great place for a getaway.
“We are delighted to be a host city for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the young royal Prince.
“The breathtaking pictures of their visit beamed right around the globe will be priceless in showcasing our great state to the world.’’
Details of the visit to the Blue Mountains will not be released by BMLOT until they are conveyed through official State Government and Kensington Palace channels.