Duke and Duchess turn hearts in Canberra sunshine

The royal couple planted a tree at the National Arboretum in Canberra, Australia.

Note: This article is from the Guardian.


Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Duke and duchess turn hearts and heads in Canberra sunshine” was written by Bridie Jabour, for theguardian.com on Thursday 24th April 2014 02.57 UTC

Kirby Turnbull had been waiting weeks to flirt with Prince William.

And on a sunny Thursday morning in Canberra, the Black Mountain School student, who has cerebral palsy, got her opportunity when she met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the National Arboretum.

As the duchess appeared in a green knee-length dress and accepted flowers, Turnbull gave William a silk tie made by her class and a scarf for Kate.

“Thank you very much. That’s very kind,” he said.

The 18-year-old giggled.

The girls’ pastoral care teacher, Sarah Desmond, said Turnbull had been up at 6am laughing in anticipation and had been planning to tell the duke she likes flirting with boys, and him in particular.

“She was really looking forward to his reaction,” Desmond said.

The couple arrived about 10.30am and, helped by six-year-old twins Sebastian and Oliver Lye, planted an English oak tree.

“Look at me, mum!” Sebastian yelled, watering the tree as his mother, Moira Lye, looked on laughing, but with occasional tears. She had not expected the day to be so emotional.

Lye has been treated for breast cancer for the past three and half years and has just had her last course of chemotherapy.

The treatment is not getting anywhere, she says, so will meet her oncologist next week to discuss “one last-ditch attempt”.

Sebastian and Oliver are the youngest of the 41-year-old’s five children and she was not sure how they were picked to help plant the tree.

“It’s been amazing,” she said. “I certainly hope it is creating memories they will have for a very long time.”

Lye said she had never been much of a monarchist and had watched the couple from afar for a few years.

“Seeing them travel around Australia and how wonderful they have been has really opened my eyes,” she said. “Hopefully they can have all the joy and love with their child that we have experienced with our children.”

As Lye spoke the couple entered the playground where selected students were playing.

Three children on a set of swings barely glanced over as the couple entered the playground followed by a dozen cameras.

Sunday Roch, 11, got an invitation and said she thought the duchess was pretty and, in an almost politician’s manner, said it was a “great opportunity” to be able to meet them.

Asked what she would say to them, Roch replied: “It is nice to meet you, your royal highnesses.”

The couple will attend a reception at parliament house and will visit the National Portrait Gallery on the penultimate day of their tour in Australia’s capital.

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