The emphasis was on young people as Prince William and Kate Middleton made a two-hour visit to Elizabeth on Wednesday. The royal couple’s appearance might have been brief, but they went out of their way to connect with the local youth, and even tried their hand at DJing and graffiti art during their appearance in the Adelaide suburb.
After touching down in RAAF Base Edinburgh following their overnight stay in Uluru, the Cambridges were whisked to the Northern Sound System, where a crowd of more than 5,000 were waiting to see them.
Among them was six-year-old Lauren Stephenson from the Make-A-Wish foundation, who spent several minutes with the couple and presented Kate with a posy of flowers.
The community-run centre in Elizabeth provides recording equipment and rehearsal space for young people. And after watching performances and meeting with youth and staff, it was William and Kate’s turn to try spinning the decks.
The Duchess, elegant in pink Alexander McQueen, impressed with her DJing skills as she had a go at scratching some tracks, before urging her husband to step up and try his hand — reportedly with less success than Kate.
The couple then moved outside to watch the young members of the Elizabeth Riders group in action at a local skate park. William politely declined the chance to showcase his scooter skills; “He said he would probably stack it,” 15-year-old Luke Haldeby said.
Nevertheless, both William and Kate showed great interest in the BMX display, and were later presented with a custom skateboard for Prince George, designed by local artist Caset Zechef. William and Kate, due to be reunited with their baby son on Wednesday afternoon in Canberra, were delighted with the gift.
“He thought it was amazing, he loved it,” one rider said of William. “Even Kate loved it too, she thought it was cool that it said George on it.”
The Prince did seize the opportunity to join a team of spray painters from the Aerosols Angels group, and helped graffiti part of a billboard display. “He did a pretty good job,” group leader Simon Burt, 36, said. “And he admitted when he’d finished his bit of art work that he was now addicted.”
“He paints very well,” another young painter added. “He filled in part of the blue sky and didn’t go over any of the lines.”
With the seal of approval from the young people of Elizabeth, the couple received a big cheer as they met with the crowds. Playford Boulevard was filled with waiting fans, all eager to speak to the Duke and Duchess, who gradually made their way to the Playford Civic Centre, where they were greeted by South Australian Governor Kevin Scarce and Playford Mayor Glenn Docherty.
William and Kate then unveiled a plaque naming the new Prince George Plaza, in honour of their son, before heading inside for their final official engagement of the day, a reception with 200 guests all under the age of 30.
The Cambridges’ visit will have come as a huge boost to Elizabeth, which has the third highest unemployment rate in the country. The working-class suburb, located to the north of the city of Adelaide, was named after the Queen, who visited the area in 1963.