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Charles and Camilla given a royal reception as they arrive at the races in Melbourne

November 6, 2012
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When Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall arrived for a day at the races in Melbourne, they were given a rapturous reception fit for the Diamond Monarch they were there representing. Thousands of racegoers had poured into the Flemington Racecourse to greet the royals for the second leg of their 13-day Jubilee tour of Australasia.

Any remaining jetlag would have melted away as the Prince of Wales and his wife met well-wishers bearing flowers and plenty of Antipodean hospitality. Future King and Queen consort shook countless outstretched hands as they made their way to the royal box where they later watched the sporting action unfold.

The locals' greetings were typically laid-back with one fan shouting: "Hello Charlie, how are you going?". And the immaculately turned out crowd – whose attire was similar to that worn at British racing event Ascot – won the royal seal of approval, with the Prince telling one woman: "You look very fetching."  

His own lady also looked very much the part with an eye-catching hat fashioned by the Duchess' favourite milliner, Philip Treacy. The piece – which also made an appearance during the Diamond Jubilee river pageant – was the crowning glory of her elegant lemon and white outfit.

Inside, a private reception was held for the royal couple before the Cup got underway. With such fervour for the regal visit surrounding the event, it was easy for another famous face to pass almost unnoticed – Elizabeth Hurley's fiancée Shane Warne was also part of the estimated 100,000-strong crowd.

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The former Australian cricketer –  one of the greatest bowlers in the history of his sport – kept a low profile as he watched the races from behind the relative anonymity of his sunglasses. His royal neighbours, however, were much more animated. Prince Charles had brought along his binoculars to make sure he could follow every minute of the races, and the royal had no hesitation putting them to good use.

Lots more fun awaits the couple on their action-packed trip. Notorious food lover Camilla will be in her element when they attend a showcase of South Australia's food and wine industries at Penfolds Vineyard in Adelaide. And both will have a brush with magic in New Zealand, where they will receive traditional Maori welcomes in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

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