THERE was no time for a honeymoon following their royal nuptials on Saturday, but Bathurst has emerged as a leading contender to host Prince Harry and Meghan Markle when come to Australia later this year.
Bathurst MP Paul Toole is behind the push to bring the royal couple to the city after news broke on Tuesday that the NSW Government was hoping to whisk Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex away to a regional pit stop when they visit Sydney for the Invictus Games in October.
Bathurst and the Hunter Valley have been earmarked as the possible hosts.
Full security planning is under way for their anticipated visit for the Invictus Games with Sydney currently awaiting official confirmation from Kensington Palace of the pair’s attendance.
Mr Toole, the Minister for Racing, assisted the Minister for Veterans Affairs and Minister for Clubs as co-hosts for Prince Harry’s last visit to Australia to promote the Games last June.
Mr Toole said it was now up to the couple and Kensington Palace to decide the schedule.
“No final decision has been made, it’s gone back to England, but it’s not a pipe dream – there’s a real shot at them considering it,” he said.
He said it would be “pretty amazing” if the couple came.
“It’s up to them to make the decision, but the suggestion has been made. It hasn’t been ruled out … it’s still alive,” he said.
Councillor Monica Morse said on Tuesday the proposal to bring the royal couple to Bathurst was “fabulous”.
“Wouldn’t that be something,” she said.
She said she already had a few ideas about what Harry and Meghan could do during their visit.
“We saw on television they left the reception in an electric Jag, wouldn’t it be amazing if we could get our hands on an electric Tesla and take around the Mount,” she said.
“I understand he’s into modern technology so it would be great if we could get a Tesla.
“We managed to a vintage car for Quentin Bryce (former Australian Governor General) to go around the Mount in, so I’m sure we could find a Tesla.”
Cr Morse said Bathurst had strong links with the Royal family. Her father-in-law, Alan Morse, was mayor of the city when Queen Elizabeth II visited back in 1952.
The family has a print of Mayor Morse walking with the Queen in Bathurst hanging pride of place in their home, taken during her visit to the city in 1952. The visit was part of a tour of the region including Dubbo, Katoomba and Lithgow.
Some 30 years later the Queen, along with her husband Prince Philip, visited Bathurst again in October 1982.
Cr Morse said she thought Bathurst was a far better option for the royal couple to visit then the Hunter Valley.
“The Hunter Valley – what have they got? Wine and vineyards.
“We’ve got Mount Panorama, that’s our heritage.”
Bathurst-based monarchist Martin King said it is a fantastic idea to bring the royal couple to the region, and encouraged the people of Bathurst to write to Harry and Meghan at Kensington Palace and encourage them to visit our city.
He said he hopes the visit comes off, and if it does he will be among the crowd welcoming the couple.
“I will definitely be there, with all my flags,” he said.