Dancers prepare to greet Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in Sir John Guise Stadium after a cultural performance in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Prince Charles says coming to Papua New Guinea makes him feel
But the Prince of Wales, who will celebrate his 64th birthday
on November 14, has told an audience at Port Moresby's Crowne
Plaza he will depart on Monday with immense regret.
"I first came to Papua New Guinea almost 50 years ago, which
worried me greatly," he said.
"I'd say there are an awful lot of people, for instance in
Australia, have no idea I went to school here in 1966 - such
are the things one has to suffer when you get older.
"Looking at the list of people that I was going to meet when
I came to PNG, quite a large proportion of ministers in the
government here were only about one or two years old when I
came here in 1966."
Charles said both he and his wife, Camilla the Duchess of
Cornwall, will depart on Monday with a sense of regret.
"The welcome we received was so wonderfully warm and friendly
and special that I promise you we shall leave here tomorrow
with immense regret, but also with the shouts of welcome
ringing in our ears."
The prince and duchess have been busy since arriving on
Saturday night, heading straight into official functions.
On Sunday the pair attended a cultural ceremony in the city
and visited a coastal village and an orchid garden.
In PNG's gruelling 35 degree heat, Charles, as colonel in
chief of the Royal Pacific Islands Regiment, presented the
battalion with new colours.
Governor-General Sir Michael Ogio told the assembled guests
Queen Elizabeth was an important unifying figure for the
"Her Majesty's 60-year reign can be put in a PNG
perspective," he said.
"It is longer than the average life span of our people, and
it is 23 years longer than we have enjoyed nationhood.
"Governors-general come and go, prime ministers come and go,
but Her Majesty remains and remains as widely and genuinely
respected as ever ... also (serving) as a source of unity for
our diverse nation."
At Sunday's dinner Prince Charles presented diamond jubilee
medals celebrating the Queen's 60th anniversary on the throne
to Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, deputy opposition leader Sam
Basil and other dignitaries.
Also at the official table was Sir Michael Somare, PNG's
first prime minister after independence from Australia in
1975, when the young nation also elected to join the
Throughout the meal, the duchess and Mr O'Neill were seen in
frequent and deep conversation.
The royal couple were given a choice of starters: either
pumpkin and sweet potato soup with smoked paprika croutons,
or a duck confit terrine with onion marmalade on a toasted
For mains they could choose between beef tenderloin with
vanilla mash or seared salmon with an asparagus, roasted
pimento, saffron and black truffle risotto.
Dessert was a Pacific Island tasting platter of mango and
passionfruit cheesecake, kiwifruit pavlova as well as bush
lime tart accompanied by a paw paw and limoncello salsa.
On Monday morning Charles will tour a youth centre while the
duchess will visit a women's refuge.
The royal couple is scheduled to depart for Australia on
Monday, before heading to New Zealand where Charles will
celebrate his 64th birthday on November 14.