Prince William is finishing up a “disaster tour” Down Under today, having been flown around by helicopter the past couple of days to observe flood damage in Australia after viewing earthquake damage in New Zealand. Asked when he would be back, the prince sparked excitement in Australia this weekend by remarking that he and fiancee Kate Middleton might have to return on their honeymoon.
Hundreds turned out in Kerang, a town in Victoria state that was among the dozens inundated this year by Australia’s worst flooding in decades, the Associated Press reported. The prince was on a “low-key” trip, AP noted, attending numerous barbecues where local officials filled him in on recovery and rebuilding efforts.
The Telegraph has a fuller article detailing some of the flood damage and survivors the prince met with.
William first visited Australia as a baby, when his parents, Princess Diana and Prince Charles, took him along on a royal tour in 1983. His parents, particularly his mother, did not want to leave him home. More recently, he returned to Australia and New Zealand in January 2010, in his first royal tour representing his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II. The popular prince, many suggested, was sent to counter the push to do away with the constitutional monarchy in Australia.
Today, under the headline “ ‘William-mania’ hits Australia, New Zealand,” CBS notes that “While the Commonwealth of Australia hasn't been as supportive of the monarchy as some other areas, Prince William still got a great reception.”
This post has been updated since it was first published.