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Tasmania welcomes royal couple

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Sydney - Britain’s Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were mobbed by monarchists in Australia's island state of Tasmania on Thursday.

The prince and his wife, Camilla, set what royal watchers said might be a walkabout record by mixing with the locals for over an hour in the streets of Richmond, outside the island's capital Hobart.

Enthusiasts in the crowd chanted “Charlie, Charlie!” as the prince passed and one woman told national broadcaster ABC that Camilla “looked a million dollars”.

The couple are on a six-day sweep through the east of the country, having arrived from Papua New Guinea. On Saturday they leave for New Zealand to round off their three-nation Jubilee Year visit to the region.

At the Richmond Arms Hotel, Charles had a glass of Cascade, the local ale, and a chat with farmers.

Camilla, who dispensed with the parasol that had irritated some commentators on her arrival, made do with a glass of water.

Charles, who is the patron of the Campaign for Wool, a lobby group to promote the natural fibre, visited a sheep farm and had a go at tossing a fleece onto the table where it would be classed. - Sapa-dpa

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