Royals to mark Anzac centenary

In a speech delivered at Canberra’s Parliament House on Thursday, William indicated his involvement on April 25, 2015 which marks 100 years since the first landing of Aussie diggers at Anzac Cove at Gallipoli.

“Catherine and I look forward to paying tribute to them at tomorrow’s ANZAC Day commemoration and – with my brother Harry – to taking part in next year’s Gallipoli centenary,” he said.

The words sent royal watchers into a spin, speculating that the popular royal trio would travel to the Turkish coastline in 2015 to join a select gathering paying tribute to the Anzac memory.

But a Kensington Palace spokesman said nothing had been finalised.

“I believe those commemorations are taking place in several locations across the world, and we would not specify at this stage which ceremony they might attend,” he said.

From royal to royal

Earlier today The Duchess of Cambridge came face to face with Australia’s homegrown princess at Canberra’s National Portrait Gallery.

Well, almost.

Accompanied by husband Prince William, Kate – who graduated with honours in art history – weaved her way through some of the gallery’s exhibition rooms on Thursday.

Along her trail was a 2005 oil painting of Hobart-born Danish Crown Princess Mary.

The royal wives and future queens met in person for the first time in Copenhagen in 2012.

Kate told artist Jiawei Shen, who painted the portrait of the Crown Princess of Denmark nine years ago, that it was “very real”.

Mary’s portrait is one of many at the gallery.


Others include Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Dame Joan Sutherland, James Cook, and author Tim Winton.

The gallery’s director, Angus Trumble steered the couple to Australian war heroine Nancy Wake, delighting them with stories of her courage and adventures. They also met indigenous musician Gurrumul Yunupingu who only moments before had entertained them at a prime ministerial reception at nearby Parliament House.

Former Australian of the Year, Dr John Yu, drew smiles when he described the arduous process of sitting for his sculpture.

“Was it really uncomfortable,” Kate asked, intrigued.

Dr Yu said he told the couple how he had been “in a plaster cast and how you breathe through straws up your nose”.

Kate and William took time to take in the tapestry of the late Dame Elisabeth Murdoch as her granddaughters Prudence MacLeod and Penny Fowler looked on. William met Dame Elisabeth in Victoria during his last visit.

“The Duchess of Cambridge was saying how it was lovely to see different mediums and the tapestry is really unique,” Mrs Fowler said.

Mr Trumble said the visit to the portrait gallery had been a “red letter day”.

“In a way a royal visit of this scale with this degree of publicity attached to it is in a sense a mark of our coming of age,” he said.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s wife, Margie, who is the chief patron of the gallery, and Arts Minister Senator George Brandis were also on hand as the young royals toured the institution.

Arriving at the gallery, Kate was presented with flowers by three-year-old Wilhelmina ‘Mina’ Dreghorn, who got a bit shy when it came time to hand over the posy.

As the royal couple departed, Zoe Malone, 11, got the chance to present the duchess with a bunch of gerberas.

“Kate asked if I had been to the gallery and what was my favourite picture,” an excited Zoe, who had waited seven hours, told AAP.

“She said ‘there are lots of pictures and they are all wonderful'”.

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