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Prince William's solo tour down under -

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TRACY BOWDEN: Late last year a poll of 1,000 Australians found that 59% would support the country
becoming a Republic. The survey showed that the strongest support came from those aged between 50
and 69. And that younger people are more likely to be unsure.

Perhaps the results may be a little different if the question was asked today, after the whirlwind
tour by Prince William. The second in line to the throne visited bushfire ravaged areas of Victoria
winning the hearts of many after an equally popular visit to Sydney.

Has the charm offensive cemented the appeal of the monarchy or fed an infatuation with celebrities?
Mary Gearin reports.

VOX POP: He seems to be a nice young man, doesn't he?

VOX POP 2: Yes.

MARY GEARIN, REPORTER: If you are marketing the monarchy Prince William is the premium product.

Handsome, polite, charming, as comfortable over the past few days with indigenous communities,
disadvantaged and political leaders, as he was today with survivors of last year's Victorian

VOX POP 3: It's so special. I said that to him, "This is so important to us, it's a real healing
thing for us". It'll help us to move on.

VOX POP 4: I reckon he's really kind and, yeah, I think he's thinking about the fires.

VOX POP 5: The joy of the faces from little kids from seeing him here and all that, and him playing
cricket with us and all that.

MARY GEARIN: The Prince's snag flipping, ball tossing schedule in Victoria seemed designed to show
how great this Monarch in waiting is at being like one of us, all this popular appeal at just 27,
on his first overseas trip with official duties.

PRINCE WILLIAM: I also remember my mother coming back from her time here in 1996 telling me what a
profound impression this country made on her, and how much she loved Australia. Three days here,
and I now know why.

SIMON VIGAR, ROYAL CORRESPONDENT, FIVE.TV U.K.: I think it's been very successful for William. He
is slightly surprised by it, we chatted to him back in Auckland and even then he was surprised by
the media interest.

week. You can imagine how much more the support would have been had it been a weekend.

DAVID DONOVAN, AUSTRALIAN REPUBLICAN MOVEMENT: His visit may be of some comfort to a few people in
Australia. But in terms of Australia's constitutional future, I can't see how it is relevant

MARY GEARIN: The Australian media lapped up the unofficial visit. Shots of welcoming crowds work
whether they reflect love for celebrities, love for the crown or plain curiosity. The British media
travelling with the Prince is calling this tour a Success.

ARTHUR EDWARDS, ROYAL PHOTOGRAPHER, "THE SUN": It's been a superb tour. It's been a wonderful tour.
And the great thing about it is it's the young people coming out to see him. That's what the royals
need, they need the young people to take an interest.

I think even the cynics think in the last few days he's played a blinder.

VOX POP 6: We are sweating and shake, it was so exciting.

MARY GEARIN: There's been plenty of references to the Prince's charm and more than a passing
interest in the heir's hair, even the 'Australian Women's Weekly', whose editor said William wasn't
compelling to feature in the magazine, couldn't resist a nostalgic look at young Will on its

As a 9 month old he broke with convention, travelling with his parents down under, the first time
an heir to the throne and his successor travelled together. He's been regularly reminded of his
late mother by well wishers, as he was today.

ARTHUR EDWARDS: He's such a caring kid. He just throws himself at the people.

ARTHUR EDWARDS: I think you really saw it in Redfern Community Centre in Sydney, when he was with
the kids. He really came alive then. He's a people person. And you could see his mum clearly there.
They insist this isn't a political trip, it's not about tapping Republicanism, but it is of course,
deep in the background.

MARY GEARIN: So has Prince William done his job, has his trip convinced Australians to keep the
constitutional monarchy?

DAVID DONOVAN: Prince William is coming over here for three days, once the circus goes away I think
that it will pretty soon be forgotten. I think as a PR exercise in some release it may backfire,
because it will remind Australians when a visiting royal comes to Australia, we do need to kowtow
and genuflect.

JAI MARTINKOVITS: There's a magic to monarchy that is certainly, you know, widely recognised.

MARY GEARIN: 23 year-old Jai Martinkovits is spokesman for the Young Australians for Constitutional
Monarchy. He points to the free publicity Prince William brought to Australia thanks to a trip
funded by his grandmother, and the mutual relationship the Prince could form with his future

JAI MARTINKOVITS: He will more than likely one day be a future king for us, so he does need to have
that sort of understanding of Australian culture, and Australians to understand him as a person.

MARY GEARIN: David Donovan is Media Director for the Australian Republic Movement. And he says the
tight media controls around the Prince, with no interviews allowed and heavy security mean most
Australians won't be any the wiser about their possible future king.

DAVID DONOVAN: We don't think Prince William's visit is very relevant. I mean Prince William is not
even the next in line to the Australian or English throne, him coming over here, we think, is
really nothing much more than a PR exercise. This is a person who is only 27 years old. He has no
real major achievements or experience in life that is of great benefit to Australians.

JAI MARTINKOVITS: I was amongst you know amongst the gathering yesterday at the botanical gardens,
and there was an amazing support and the environment that was there, and just that real interest
that was sparked. I found it amazing to see there was such support, you know, particularly among
young people.

MARY GEARIN: A recent poll said 59% of Australians want a Republic, the accuracy of that result is
disputed by monarchists. Right now the Rudd Government sees no benefit in pushing the matter.

JULIA GILLARD, DEPUTY PRIME MINSTER: The Prime Minister has made it very clear that whilst he
believes one day in the future this country will be a Republic, that there are no present plans to
have a referendum.

BOB BROWN, GREENS LEADER: Let's bring it on. The Greens are saying, "Let Australians have a say
now", it's a very simple thing, a plebiscite, indicative, it doesn't lock governments in, but says,
"Yes", or, "No", to the prospects of Australia becoming a Republic.

MARY GEARIN: No matter what Australians think the Prince's stellar performance is what the Royals
needed in the homeland.

ARTHUR EDWARDS: Absolutely, like a junky needs heroin, it needed it badly. Because they needed to
get younger people.

MARY GEARIN: And the Monarchists with will be hoping this high can last.

TRACY BOWDEN: Mary Gearin reporting from Melbourne.