Charles toasts Bundy, enjoys tipple of rum


Prince Charles has sampled some of the famous rum during a visit to Bundaberg on Friday.Prince Charles has saluted the “wonderful” people of Bundaberg for their strength in the face of recent natural disasters.

“The n spirit and character is such that you are unbelievably resilient and somehow you’ve managed, regardless of what happened,” he told locals, referring to recent floods, after he toured the Bundaberg Rum distillery on Friday.

“That is one of the great characteristics I have always admired (about ns) ever since I first came here 52 years ago.”

The speech was unexpected, and was warmly received by the more than 1000 people who had gathered for a community barbecue outside the distillery on Friday, despite gusty winds and overcast skies.

The heir to the throne spent a couple of hours in the central Queensland city, which he last visited in 1994. The visit included another tasting of the signature rum.

“It’s taken me, I’m afraid, all these years to come back for another tot and I’m thrilled that this distillery’s proving to be the one that produces some of the most famous and special of all rums around the world.”

He was taken through a tasting in Barrel House, and took a slug of one of five options presented to him.

Declaring he could detect “fruit cake” overtones, His Royal Highness then went a step further and created his own version of Queensland’s favourite tipple, blending four beakers of rum.

It reminded him of “chemistry class”, he joked, before successfully mixing a brew which will be taken home to England.

The Prince took a particular interest in a section of the distillery museum where a commemorative “high water” bottle of Bundaberg Rum is displayed, complete with a summary of the floods which have struck the town numerous times, most recently in 2013.

“The problem is they are growing in intensity,” he said to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk as the two discussed extreme weather events.

He charmed the crowd which had lined up six-deep behind security fences to catch a glimpse.

Pat Allison and husband Jim were among the hundreds of Bundaberg residents who turned out under grey skies to meet the prince.

Mr Allison said the Royals represented one of the world’s most enduring institutions.

“They talk to senior politicians, world leaders and kids and always seem to conduct themselves well.”

Ms Palaszckuk said she was thrilled to see so many come out to see His Royal Highness.

“Prince Charles was very warm and the people of Bundaberg so welcoming,” she said.

“He spent a lot of his time talking to people and that was great to see.”

Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey was equally as chuffed.

“What an absolute fabulous day for the Bundaberg region, showcasing some of our famous iconic features as well as the spirit of the people, cast right across the whole world,” he said.

“It was a great honour and privilege to have Prince Charles here today.”

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