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Charles delivers Queen's message at Commonwealth Games opening

Charles delivers Queen's message at Commonwealth Games opening

Bundaberg is the first regional stop for Prince Charles as part of his official duties for the Commonwealth Games.

Juliet Rieden, The Australian Women's Weekly's editor-at-large and royal correspondent, is now on tour with Charles and Camilla in Queensland as the royal couple attend various events as part of their commitment to opening the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

The Queen's message, contained inside the Games baton, said the ancient stories of Australia's indigenous people "remind us that, even though we may be half a world away, we are all connected".

"In this spirit of co-operation and togetherness, common ground has been established and enduring friendships forged". During their stay the royal couple are due to visit Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Cairns and Bundaberg.

Camilla donned an elegant, wide-brimmed Philip Treacy hat to match her pale green Fiona Clare dress before heading back outside for the official ceremony, which included a 21-gun salute fired from across the river at Kangaroo Point.

"She said 'I hope you're going to watch the opening ceremony at the Games tonight, '" Ms Edwards said.

The royal couple could be seen greeting senators and ministers on the tarmac at the airport.

They will then proceed to the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital.

Downer, who is due to step down as Australia's high commissioner in London at the end of April, told the BBC "I know Prince Charles and I would be nearly 100 per cent certain he had never said anything like that to Paul Keating".

It comes at an important time for the British monarchy, with republican sentiment gaining traction in Australia.

Before entering politics, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull led a public campaign to persuade Australia to severe its constitutional ties with the British monarch and become a republic with an Australian president.

Australian Republic Movement chair Peter FitzSimons said it would be great if Prince Charles would use his Australian tour to formally support a republic.

"It is very disrespectful to Prince Charles himself, and as a nation, to say we were happy with your mother reigning over us for 80 years but we don't want you at all".

"But that doesn't mean the royal family isn't viewed with a sense of affection in Australia - I saw that with my own eyes as prime minister".