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Tuesday, 21 March, 2000, 10:15 GMT
Queen visits Olympic village
queen in stadium
The Queen inspects Sydney's facilities
The Queen has spent the second day of her Australian tour visiting the site of the Sydney 2000 Olympics, reigniting debate over who should officially open the Games.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard last year chose to break with tradition and not invite the Queen as head of state to open the spectacle.

He originally proposed to do it himself, but after media and public pressure, he asked the Queen's representative in Australia, Sir William Deane, instead.

As the royal party toured the site on Tuesday, triple-gold medal-winning swimmer Dawn Fraser said she thought the Queen was the right person to open the Olympics.

"I would have preferred the Queen to open the Games because it would have meant a lot to the athletes," she said.

Ms Fraser campaigned against retaining the Queen as head of state in last year's referendum but she said she was "a big fan" and that her political views did not extend to the Olympics.

Corgi question

In an apparent allusion to dwindling public support for the monarchy, the Queen said in a speech at the Olympic site that she would "maintain a deep affection for Australia, whatever the future may bring".


queen on tour
The Queen: One of our corgis has just had puppies
The Queen saw the Olympic Superdome, the Stadium Australia and the Aquatic Centre, all purpose-built at Homebush Bay, a former industrial wasteland on the edge of Sydney.

Small but loyal crowds turned out to greet the Queen both there and at Sydney Children's Hospital which she visited earlier.

One little girl, who has cystic fibrosis, asked the Queen how many corgis she had.

The Queen replied: "I've got four and one's just had puppies, so we've got more now."

Contaminated cheese

No further security breaches were reported following Monday's incident when a man armed with a knife was arrested near a venue the Queen was to visit.


Gregory Pailthorpe
Gregory Pailthorpe was arrested with a kitchen knife on his leg

Gregory Pailthorpe was subsequently placed in psychiatric care indefinitely.

The Duke of Edinburgh, meanwhile, went on a separate visit to a cheese factory in Wagga Wagga.

But after he refused to wear a sterile white laboratory coat and hat over his suit, staff said they feared a whole day's production of cheese would have to be destroyed.

"You can't take the risk of contamination," said cheesemaker Barry Lillywhite.

On Wednesday, the Queen will leave Sydney and visit a primary school and Aboriginal radio station in Bourke before heading to Canberra for a state banquet.

It is her first visit to Australia in eight years.

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See also:

20 Mar 00 | Asia-Pacific
Queen overcomes security scare
21 Mar 00 | Asia-Pacific
Picture gallery: The Queen in Australia
19 Mar 00 | Asia-Pacific
Didgeridoo serenade for Queen
01 Nov 99 | Asia-Pacific
The birth of republicanism
02 Nov 99 | Asia-Pacific
Queen or country?
20 Mar 00 | Asia-Pacific
Q & A: Security alert on Queen's tour
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