Charles meets Shorten on the Gold Coast


The Prince of Wales and Labor leader Bill Shorten have compared notes of being in the public eye.After an eventful day at the beach, Prince Charles has enjoyed a low-key private meeting with n Opposition Leader Bill Shorten at the Gold Coast’s Grand Sheraton Mirage.

Their conversation was broad-ranging, from an n Head of State to climate change and apprenticeships.

But first they re-acquainted with memories of bodysurfing at Bondi nearly four decades ago.

Fresh from a visit to Broadbeach and a tour of the Commonwealth Games athletes village with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the Prince of Wales continued the second day of his Queensland visit separate from wife Camilla.

Charles arrived in plenty of time for his meeting with the Labor leader, walking briskly through the hotel foyer in a cream-coloured suit as hotel staff, police and Games officials stepped respectively to the side to let him pass.

Away from the public’s prying eyes, there were only several zealous photographers to contend with, inside the hotel room hand-picked for the rendezvous.

But only for a grand total of 90 seconds before the pair continued their half-hour get-together behind closed doors.

British royal photographer Arthur Edwards took the opportunity to remind Charles of his 1981 tour to , when the veteran Sun snapper captured the young prince swimming at Bondi Beach shortly after the announcement of his engagement to the late Diana.

“You looked like a supermodel,” Edwards ventured.

“Oh come on,” a laughing Charles retorted, before regaling Mr Shorten with another press-related anecdote.

“They did it to me skiing in Switzerland,” he began.

“We fell in a heap and they all rushed in.”

Shorten nodded in empathy.

“We could compare notes but I suspect your stories are better than mine,” he said.

Charles, who officially opened the Games on behalf of the Queen on Wednesday night, remained at the Grand Sheraton Mirage to meet with New Zealand Governor-General Patsy Reddy.

On Thursday night he will present medals at the swimming finals while Camilla will do the same at the cycling.

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