Charles, Camilla soak up sunny Sydney

Last updated 14:09 09/11/2012
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TOUR TIME: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, greets Defence Force personnel and their families in Sydney.

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Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall have kicked off their first day in Sydney with a barge ride on the harbour ahead of a morning tea with Australian Defence Force personnel and their families.

The pair soaked up the sight of the sunny city as they travelled to Garden Island in a wooden ceremonial boat, the Admiral's Barge.

Camilla looked fresh in a knee-length cream dress, cream hat, sunglasses, tan shoes and pearls while Charles wore a navy blue suit paired with a light blue shirt and a striped blue and white tie.

They shook hands and chatted with defence families during an informal meet and greet outside the Naval Heritage Centre.

The royal guests will have morning tea with 140 navy, army and air force personnel who have returned from operations in areas such as PNG and Afghanistan.

"We are delighted to open our doors to the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall," said commander Todd Wilson.

"It's an opportunity for some of our service personnel to enjoy a moment of recognition for work that often takes them away from family for months at a time."

After the tea, Charles will attend a wool industry event at Circular Quay, before heading to Bondi for an emergency services reception hosted by NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell.

It's then on to a corporate social responsibility function put on by the National Rugby League and Community One, also at Bondi.

Meanwhile, Camilla will be appointed colonel-in-chief of the Royal Australian Corps of Military Police.

The royals are on a 13-day tour of the southern hemisphere and are in Australia for six days as part of the Queen's diamond jubilee celebrations.

Martin Holland and his four young children were among those who shook hands with the couple.

"He was great and really friendly," he told AAP.

"He asked if I was on the base. I said no, I was here because my father spent 20 years on a submarine."

His three young daughters and five-year-old son also met Camilla.

After the meet and greet, Prince Charles received a royal salute with musical honours before inspecting the guard of honour and band.

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- AAP

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