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ADF welcomes Royal visitors to Sydney

His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles inspects Sydney detachment of the Royal Australian Navy Band and the Royal Guard of Honour.

Australian Defence Force personnel and their families have welcomed Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall at Sydney’s Garden Island.

After their traditional naval arrival onboard the ‘Admiral’s Barge’, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were welcomed by ADF families outside the Naval Heritage Centre.

Formalities followed as Their Royal Highnesses were invited to inspect the Royal Australian Navy Band - Sydney and Australia’s Federation Guard.

The Royal guests attended a morning tea with 140 Navy, Army and Air Force personnel who had returned from operations. The group included representatives from the frigate HMAS Melbourne, which recently completed a six-month deployment to the Gulf of Aden. Also present were Navy clearance divers who had conducted humanitarian operations in Papua New Guinea and south-west Pacific, as well as operations in Afghanistan.

Commanding Officer of HMAS Kuttabul, Commander Todd Willson, who is responsible for Garden Island, said today’s visit was an historic event for the base.

“We were delighted to open our doors for the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall during their brief visit to Sydney,” Commander Willson said.

“The event was special in a number of ways. It was an opportunity for some of our service personnel to enjoy a moment of recognition for work that often takes them away from family for months at a time. We also enjoyed the chance to show the Prince and Duchess an historic part of Sydney that is steeped in Australia’s naval traditions and heritage.”

The Naval Heritage Centre at Garden Island tells the story of Australia’s Navy from colonial times to the present day. It exhibits over 3,000 artefacts from the history of the Navy.

Garden Island is home to the Royal Australian Navy’s largest Pacific Ocean base, Fleet Base East, the fleet headquarters and HMAS Kuttabul. Typically between 3,000 and 4,000 personnel work on the base, depending on which vessels are in port.