Your Royal Highnesses, it’s a great pleasure to welcome you to the National Arboretum in Canberra. There is a lovely symmetry in having you as the first members of your family here – to plant a tree at Australia’s youngest national institution.
It continues a close association between the British royal family and Australia’s capital through visits throughout our city’s young history.
Today also carries a strong thread of youth, growth and change – the arboretum itself is still in its infancy – just 15 months old. Yet it is the product of an idea more than 100 years old, with a vision reaching many generations into the future.
I trust the arboretum has won two more admirers today and we’re delighted that you will leave us a reminder of your visit through a beautiful English Oak tree – identical to the Oak planted in 1927 by the Duke of York along Kings Avenue where they still stand today –
This young tree will grow up alongside the children who love to play here – where it will, in years to come, provide shade in the summer and let the warm sun through in the winter.
Some of those children are with us today. And it’s lovely to share this important event in the young history of the arboretum with the students who will be the future custodians of this important site –
To the Duke and Duchess, it’s safe to say the future of this young tree is in fine young hands and hope that you are able to visit again to check on its progress.
Thank you again for your visit, this gesture and the time you have taken to meet the people of our community.