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Last Updated: Friday, 4 March, 2005, 15:43 GMT
Prince takes a stroll in Sydney
Charles on a walkabout in Sydney
The Sydney crowd was the largest of the tour so far
Prince Charles visited the Sydney Opera House amid tight security on Friday, the penultimate day of his five-city tour of Australia.

Police helicopters and sniffer dogs patrolled the area. In 1994 a protester in Sydney fired two shots from a starting pistol at the prince.

A crowd of 600 people, estimated to be the biggest of the tour so far, turned out to see the prince.

He later flew to Canberra, where he was greeted by a 21-gun artillery salute.

Next time, bring the wife
Onlooker's message to Charles
During his stroll around the Opera House accompanied by New South Wales Governor Marie Bashir, two onlookers asked the prince if he planned to attend Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, being held on Saturday.

Laughing, he replied: "I've got to go to New Zealand tomorrow, thank you very much."

One woman held a collage of photos of Charles with Diana, Princess of Wales, with the message 'Jewel in the Crown', but security guards blocked her from the prince's view.

However another banner read: "Next time, bring the wife, sir."


Prince Charles flew in to Sydney from Melbourne, where a newspaper was reporting an exchange he had with a seven-year-old girl, who told him: "I hope you're in love with the woman you're marrying."

According to the paper, he replied: "Yes, very much."

While Friday's crowds were said to be the largest of the prince's tour to date, they were still down on the number of onlookers who turned out for his visit 11 years ago.

Then, the local press was dominated by the shooting incident in Sydney. The prince was unhurt, but drew praise for his apparent calmness as the protester rushed towards him.

In Canberra, Prince Charles attended an official reception dinner with Australia's governor-general, prime minister and opposition leader.

In a speech at the dinner he said: "I have always had a special affection for this wonderful country.

"Everyone has always made me feel happy and it's wonderful to be back."

Prince Charles in the outback
02 Mar 05 |  In Pictures
Prince 'forgotten man' in desert
02 Mar 05 |  Asia-Pacific

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