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Queen brightens things up Down Under

March 12, 2006
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The Queen made a colourful impression on crowds of well-wishers who turned out to greet her upon her arrival in Australia on Sunday. With a vibrant yellow skirt to go with her white jacket and matching hat, the sovereign was on dazzling form as she stepped down onto the tarmac of Canberra Airport.

Her Majesty jetted into the South Pacific nation for a five-day visit during which she will open the Commonwealth Games. And she and her husband Prince Philip have enjoyed an energetic welcome from their antipodean hosts, with a throng of fans spontaneously joining together in a rendition of God Save The Queen to mark their entrance.

The following day, when they travelled to the country's most populous city, a 21-gun salute boomed out across Sydney Harbour. Over twenty years have passed since the sovereign inaugurated the metropolis' legendary Opera House, and she was clearly delighted at the opportunity to open a new ring at the building.

"When, in October 1973, I opened this building, it was universally agreed that it was something more than a performing arts centre, more than a great work of architecture," she said. "It was seen even then as, and has certainly become, the symbol of a nation."

Later in the afternoon, when she delivered her annual Commonwealth Day message, the Queen took the unprecedented step of calling on her 1.7 billion subjects to change their lifestyles. "Poor health is sometimes linked to the way we choose to live," said the monarch. "But many of us can eat better food or take more exercise."

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Photo: ©
Her Majesty, dressed in a vibrant yellow skirt and white jacket, is welcomed by schoolgirl Sophie Hawkins in CanberraPhoto: © Empicsy
Photo: ©
A huge crowd of royal fans turned out to greet the monarch in Sydney on MondayPhoto: © AFP

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