Charles and Diana made a six week tour to Australia and New Zealand, four weeks were spent in Australia, 20th March to 17th April and two weeks spent in New Zealand, 17th to 30th April. This was Diana's first ever overseas tour as a newly fledged member of the Royal Family.
It was usually the practise that all royal children were left behind from royal tours, but Diana became so upset when told that 9 month old William had to be left behind, so the Queen bent the rules, allowing William to be taken along, making him the youngest touring royal child of all time.
The royal couple, their son and their 20 strong retinue flew in to Alice Springs in the centre of Australia in a Royal Australian Air Force Boeing 707 on Sunday 20th March. Prince William, who was carried off the aircraft by nanny Barbara Barnes, was the main focus of attention.
Charles, Diana and 9 month old William's arrival in Australia
William and his nanny were flown to a 400 acre sheep farm at "Woomargarma" in New South Wales. In between visits around Australia, his parents flew down to spend short times with their son and also to get some relaxation.
Opposite:- Charles & Diana at the 'Alice Springs School of the Air', where they had an opportunity to answer questions put to them by radio by many school children in remote villages around 'Alice Springs'.
"Alice Springs" where the royal couple were to stay had a Monsoonal Low five days before their arrival causing the "Casino Hotel" - where they were to be staying to be isolated by a flood of 200mm of water and last minute arrangements meant that their accommodation was to be the "Gap Motor Hotel", in "Woomargarma".
The Prince & Princess's itinerary started immediately, leaving them little time to familarise themselves with the pleasant surroundings.
On the morning after their arrival they went to the new 'St John Ambulance Regional Centre' to open the building.
Possibly Williams first photocall
Later they visited the 'Alice Springs School of the Air' which gives lessons by radio to children in remote villages. They used the schools intercom system to answer questions posed to them by the children - this was when they were asked what Prince William's favorite toy was - when coaxed by Charles, Diana answered that he has a little "Koala Bear" and a "Puffer Whale that blows bubbles".
Opposite:- Charles & Diana on their walkabout at the School. At one time Diana thought she was going to be 'swamped' by the many children that gathered to see them
On 21st March the Prince & Princess visited 'Ayres Rock', they arrived just after 6:00 p.m. in an 8 car motorcade where they took a few moments out of their busy schedule to climb the lower slopes of the splendid rock to take in the marvelous views and later joined the many others that gathered to watch as the sun set on the rock.
The next day Charles and Diana flew to 'Tennant Creek' and visited Karguru School, where they were given an Easter Egg for Prince William. Afterwards they travelled to 'Canberra', where they went to the Civic Centre and were then driven to the retreat of Australian Premiers, "The Lodge", they were welcomed there by Australian Prime Minister, Bob Hawke. That evening they were invited to a dinner given by the Governor General.
The Prince & Princess planted a young tree in 'Cockatoo' near Melbourne in memory of the many lives lost in the recent bushfires shortly before the royal tour and for the people faced with the job of rebuilding their homes and lives in the aftermath of the fires.
By the time that they had reached Brisbane the crowd was more than 100,000 strong. For Diana, who felt that she needed approval, she began to feel that she gained it from the crowds that so absolutely adored her and was to mark the beginning of our love affair with her and to remain that way to the end of her short and tragic life.
Charles didn't understand why the crowds loved his wife so much, he was almost in the background as people chanted her name and cheered loudly as she approached them.
Opposite:- Diana keeps a watchful eye on Prince William
Charles and Diana spent the Easter holiday at their base in "Woormargarma", and it was there that Prince William's love of the water came into being - by splashing around in his paddling pool. On Easter Sunday they attended the service in St. Matthews church, Albury which probably had its largest congregation for years due to the Royal Visitors.
After the church service they travelled to "Warwick Farm" for Charles to play in a polo match - his first for 6 months. Diana was able to meet up with her old friend, Ann Bolton at the match, her flat-mate from her Bachelor-Girl days, now a resident in Australia and they were able to catch up on all the personal gossip.
Charles and Diana attend a dinner
given by the Governor General of Australia
The tour ended on the 28th April in Christchurch, New Zealand, where a forty minute walkabout enabled thousands of rain soaked on-lookers to get a last opportunity to meet the Prince and Princess.
Opposite:- Charles and Diana at the foot of Ayres Rock