Prince Charles spreads the charm in Cairns

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Prince Charles will wrap up his royal visit of with more environmental talks in Cairns. Elizabeth Kulla Kulla was overwhelmed after meeting Prince Charles after church in Cairns on Sunday.
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Prince Charles has shown he is a man of the people, spending his final day in Queensland mingling with locals and bringing tears of joy to an Aboriginal woman.

The Prince of Wales started his Sunday in Cairns with a service at St John’s Anglican church in town.

Rather that close it off to the public, he sat with parishioners and mingled with them over morning tea, complimenting choir members on their singing and joking about how no one would eat the food until he left.

But it was while he was leaving that his presence in far north Queensland city arguably had the biggest impact.

Aboriginal woman Elizabeth Kulla Kulla yelled out to the heir of the throne from behind the barricade as he was meeting with other onlookers.

“I’m an Aboriginal woman, please can I shake your hand for the first time,” she called.

Charles immediately walked over to Ms Kulla Kulla and fulfilled her request, as she told him she was named after his mum Queen Elizabeth.

Following the interaction, Ms Kulla Kulla was so overwhelmed she collapsed in tears into the arms of her sister.

Sunday’s church service marked the start of an action-packed day for Charles, who went onto visit naval base HMAS Cairns.

He presented one of the Royal n Navy’s highest honours to the crew that located a downed US Marines aircraft off the central Queensland coast.

Three marines were killed when their tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey crashed near Rockhampton during a training exercise in August.

The HS Blue crew operate on two hydrographic ships, something Prince Charles said he had learnt the importance of during his time in the military.

“I even took part in the salvage of a merchant ship, something I discovered which proved rather beneficial to the ship’s company – in descending order from the commanding officer,” he said.

Charles also paid tribute to the Anzacs.

“Your achievements are built on the foundations laid by the selfless dedication of all those servicemen and women who have gone before you,” he said.

Prince Charles later unveiled the name of the Royal Flying Doctor Service’s newest plane and spoke to one of the families who regularly requires its help.

Outback Angel has been designed as an intensive care unit in the sky and for the first time will be able to travel from Cairns to Brisbane without needing to refuel.

More than half a century after Queen Elizabeth gave the royal assent to the RFDS, her son Charles said he was proud to be a patron.

“It’s a remarkable operation,” he said.

Prince Charles, who has been in for the Commonwealth Games, will spend his last night in Queensland at a women’s basketball match

He has also made sure the environment has been part of his program, with a visit to Lady Elliot Island on the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef on Friday and a visit to the rainforest in Mossman on Sunday.

He will visit the Northern Territory for the final two days of his royal tour.

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