Kiss me quick: koalas get cuddly for Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall07 NOVEMBER 2012
Royal protocol doesn't usually lend itself to public displays of affection. But two koala bears threw caution to the wind when Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visited them in Adelaide, Australia. With the royals in the middle of their 13-day Diamond Jubilee tour of Australasia, the cute marsupials – dubbed Kao and Matilda – provided a priceless snap for the holiday scrapbook when they appeared to lean in for a kiss.
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Both Charles and Camilla looked on with fascinated amusement as their animal companions engaged in their greeting, and proceeded to wriggle around in the arms of their VIP handlers. The Duchess had approached the situation with caution, telling her husband: "You take the big one, darling." He duly obliged and joked about the koala's reputation for having a weak bladder when he was handed Kao.
Earlier in the day, the couple were on more familiar territory – meeting and greeting people – and delighted ones at that. Since the Prince and his wife touched down in Papua New Guinea on Sunday, the locals of their destinations thus far have welcomed them with nothing short of delight. That mood continued in Adelaide, where the royals surveyed a sea of flags and a banner which succinctly summed up the atmosphere: "We love Charles and Camilla." it said.
Tuesday's outing was certainly one for the finer things in life. The touring royals had the chance to roam around Adelaide's iconic Penfolds vineyard. They were guided by the renowned winemaker Peter Gago, who served them each a glass of 1962 Coonawarra Cabernet Kalimna Shiraz – a rare, vintage wine sells for $4,000 a bottle.
"They absolutely loved it," Mr Gago said. "That wine has lovely maturation characters and it's half-a-century old. There were only ever 425 cases of it made."