The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will visit Dubbo next month in an event that’s tipped to become “one of the biggest days” in its history.
On Wednesday October 17 the city will play host to Prince Harry and new wife Meghan Markle.
The announcement that Dubbo was on the itinerary for the couple’s first major international tour was announced on Monday night by Kensington Palace.
Social media exploded with enthusiasm and some amazement, with Daily Liberal readers making plans to be in Dubbo on October 17.
The significance of the impending arrival of possibly the world’s most watched couple was reiterated by Parkes MP Mark Coulton.
“I’m predicting it will be one of the biggest days in Dubbo’s history so far,” he said.
I’m predicting it will be one of the biggest days in Dubbo’s history so far.Parkes MP Mark Coulton
“There you go, there’s a bold prediction.
“But the royal family are always popular, particularly with country people.”
Mr Coulton noted Afghanistan veteran Prince Harry’s work in creating the Invictus Games - the sporting competition that’s bringing the couple to Australia.
“He seems to have a very common touch, and very much loved,” Mr Coulton said.
“And I think everyone will be waiting to see Meghan, she’s very stylish, and obviously they’re a wonderful young couple so I think it’s going to be a massive day for Dubbo.”
The MP anticipated the city’s population would swell.
“I’m sure that people will travel quite long distances to catch a glimpse of the royal couple,” he said.
Mr Coulton was not sure about the reason for Dubbo’s inclusion on the program, only saying some of the earlier discussions he had had been about looking at the effects of the drought.
He reported of excitement seen since the announcement and looked forward to the occasion.
“In a day and age when sometimes we’re a little bit more cynical than we used to be, I think it will be a day for celebration, a day to come out and show some support, meet the royal couple and leave cynicism aside for a day or two,” he said.
“I think it’s going to be wonderful.”
Dubbo mayor Ben Shields celebrated the “extraordinary” coup for the city of playing host to the first international visit of the newest duke and duchess.
“It’s an opportunity to showcase Dubbo not just to a national audience, but also to the world,” he said.
Cr Shields suggested Taronga Western Plains Zoo and the drought were the two main reasons for Dubbo receiving the honour.
“It will be a morale booster, not just for the people of Dubbo, but right throughout the region,” he said.