Duke of York inspires young entrepreneurs on tour Down Under

Prince Andrew, Duke of York is on an 11-day tour in Australia, where he has carried out a wide range of engagements. He began the tour on Monday 18th September, and is currently half-way through the visit.

For the first time in a decade, Prince Andrew visited the city of Melbourne, where he toured the Hall of Medals, and laid a wreath inside The Sanctuary, out of respect for Australia’s fallen soldiers.

the duke of york honoured fallen australians beginning his tour of the country

The CEO of the shrine, Dean Lee said, “He’s chosen to do that because he has a deep connection with the service and sacrifice of Australia’s personnel.”

Of course, the Duke served in the Falklands as a pilot in the Navy.

After this, the Royal made a visit to the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, where scientists are researching stem cells. Prince Andrew seemed interested in the research: “He had many questions about the range of our research,” Professor Kathryn North said. “He was incredibly friendly, charming. It was a pleasure for us all.”

pitch at the palace has been taken to australia by prince andrew

On Thursday, The Queen’s son jetted off to Queensland. The Duke of York is the first senior Royal to visit the Gold Coast since Her Majesty flew into Coolangatta Airport in 1963. Andrew was welcomed to Bond University with a kiss by Jane Ferguson, the sister of The Duke’s former wife Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York.

He visited the university campus to judge the brightest entrepreneurial minds from Queensland, the Northern Territory and Northern New South Wales as part of Pitch@Palace Australia, an initiative founded by the Duke, in order to ­promote start-up businesses. Since the project started in 2014, it has created a turnover of over £350million.

One man broke royal protocol, and handed his business card to the Duke. “Man, you’ve got to take the opportunity when you’re that close,” he said.

Bond University’s Vice Chancellor professor Tim Brailsford, who gave Prince Andrew a tour of the facilities said, “He’s highly knowledgeable, highly enthusiastic with lots of questions and quite informed questions.”

“We talked all things from higher education policy, the general state of the world economy through to hurricanes in the Caribbean.”

The Duke’s former sister-in-law said: “I’m very proud to be involved. It’s so wonderful to see His Royal Highness’s great passion and how he loved helping entrepreneurs around the world. I’ve been responsible with bringing Pitch@Palace Australia to Australia, it’s been fantastic.”

Later that day, Andrew also visited the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, the Gold Coast University Hospital and the Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics, learning about their research into fighting diseases such as malaria.

getting close with echidnas, the duke of york on his tour of australia

On Saturday, he became the first member of the Royal Family to visit a venue for next year’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, touring the newly-built Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre. His Royal Highness said that a number of “very important people” would visit the Coast during next year’s Commonwealth Games, perhaps hinting that senior members of the Royal Family will be in attendance.

Taleah Kneebone, 25, who will be working in the Games Village and greeting VIPs, met the Prince at the Leisure Centre and said: “He was so human, I can’t stop smiling every time I think about it, it was actually one of the highlights of my life! He said we’ll have some very important people coming through next year and that we will be greeting some members of his family at the Commonwealth Games.”

On Sunday, The Duke of York gave a bible reading at St John’s Cathedral in Brisbane. Queensland Governor Paul de Jersey and a procession of bishops attended the service, alongside the Prince.

Prince Andrew attends Sunday Service in Brisbane

Prince Andrew will continue his royal tour over the coming days. On Tuesday, he will visit the University of Wollongong, to continue the Pitch@Palace scheme.

Professor Alex Frino said, “I think more important than his visit, is why he is here, and that’s to help budding Australian entrepreneurs to develop their businesses and their business thinking, that’s what the Pitch@Palace program is for, to develop young budding entrepreneurs and not so young.”

The professor also noted: “The exciting part for the University of Wollongong is we reached out to Prince Andrew two years ago to make this happen.” The 24 finalists selected will go to the final at Government House in Sydney on 28th September.

After visiting Sydney, Prince Andrew will depart Australia for the Middle East.

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