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Wednesday, 17 November 2010
Page: 2753

Ms GILLARD (Prime Minister) (2:00 PM) —On indulgence: I say to the House and more generally that the world awoke this morning to the happy news that Prince William and Kate Middleton have become engaged. They actually became engaged last month and will marry in London next year.

Opposition members interjecting—

Ms GILLARD —It is getting a jubilant reception in the House of Representatives—that is lovely! I can advise the House that Her Excellency the Governor-General has today written to the couple extending the warmest congratulations of the Australian people. All of us join with the Governor-General in wishing the couple well.

Mr Speaker, being an ardent reader of magazines, I am sure you are aware that speculation has swirled for some time about a possible royal wedding. Speculation does tend to swirl on such matters. Now we know that a royal wedding will occur. We know that a royal wedding involves considerations beyond the personal and the domestic. It marks the start of a lifelong journey in the service of the British people. Kate Middleton begins that journey with our best wishes and our support. By all accounts, Ms Middleton is a down-to-earth young woman with the grace and good humour necessary for the role in front of her and the challenging decades ahead. As Prince William showed on his visit to Australia earlier this year, he is a young man of great charm and a high sense of duty who is able to connect with working people, with ordinary people, and he did that whilst here in Australia. He has a deep instinct for charitable work and community work.

This is a happy day for the royal family and a happy day for the Middleton family. We know the pride they must be feeling and they must also have the dawning sense that this is no ordinary wedding. But today we look beyond the pageantry to see two young people very much in love and we personally wish them well.