Aussie royal baby name hint for Meghan and Harry
PRINCE Charles has joked about Australians encouraging his son Prince Harry and wife Meghan to call their child "Kylie" and "Shane" while down under, during a touching speech in London.
The future king spoke passionately about Australia for almost 10 minutes while at Australia House, for the building's centenary celebrations on Thursday night.
"My son Harry tells me that during their recent tour of Australia he and his wife were offered … thoughtful suggestions for the naming of their baby, just between us, I suspect Kylie (Minogue) and Shane (Warne) made the cut," he joked.
"I would not hold your breath for Edna or Les."
It's unlikely that Harry and Meghan will call their first child, due in about April, after Australian pop princess Kylie Minogue, spin legend Shane Warne or Barry Humphries's alter-egos Dame Edna Everage or Sir Les Patterson.
The Prince of Wales also joked about the Ashes Test match and spoke fondly about how his great-grandfather King George V met Australian Diggers "in their slouch hats".
"For as long as I live I will proudly champion everything that makes Australia a force for good," he said.
"I find it hard to believe I first visited Australia more than 54 years ago.
"I've taken such pride in seeing her (Australia) go from strength to strength, at home, in the region, and on the world stage."
The Prince of Wales attended the celebrations with his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, who both spent almost an hour mingling with guests, shaking hands and laughing.
The official royal portrait, which was painted by highly-acclaimed Australian artist Ralph Heimans to commemorate the Prince's recent 70th birthday, was unveiled by the Prince himself during the event.
Australian actor Barry Humphries, actor and dancer Adam Garcia, author Kathy Lette, and Australian rugby union team coach Michael Cheika were also in attendance.
Speaking to Mr Humphries as he arrived, the Prince said, "I'm so glad you still exist."
Australian actor and screenwriter, Brendan Cowell, who featured in a number of Game of Thrones episodes and movie Beneath Hill 60, spoke to the Duchess as she wandered through the crowds.
"I kicked it off saying 'I can't sing' and she said 'I can't sing either," he said.
"And she asked me 'what can you do?'
Michael McMahon, a Roberta Sykes scholar who attends the Royal College of Art in London, also spoke to the Prince.
"We made some general conversation about the Royal College of Art," Mr McMahon, who hails from Arnhem Land, said.
"He congratulated me on getting admitted and he told me that I should be there right now because I have work to do."
The large-scale piece by Mr Heimans, a former Sydney schoolboy, was commissioned by Australian billionaire Anthony Pratt.
It features Prince Charles wearing a grey suit and holding a wooden cane beside a large window inside the tapestry room at Dumfries House in Scotland.
A reflection of his suit and the large oak tree outside can be seen on the grand piano that Prince Charles is standing beside.
It comes after Mr Pratt, who heads the Visy Paper and packaging empire in New York and who is the founding patron of the Prince's Trust Australia, revealed the portrait on Twitter hours before the official unveiling.
Mr Heimans is a favourite portrait artist for the English and Danish royal families, having previously completed pieces of the Queen, Prince Philip, Australian-born Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and her husband Crown Prince Frederik.
Speaking to News Corp, the artist said he wanted to focus on what really drove the Prince such as environmental conservation and architectural preservation.
"I'd been developing the idea for three months before meeting with him," he said.
"He responded very well to it, we had a really good rapport.
"I love to work on large-scale, the idea is to feel as though it's an immersive space."
The commemorations were held in Australia House's Exhibition Hall which is best known as Gringotts Bank in Harry Potter, where much of the interior marble was shipped by sea from Australia during WW1.
Australia House is the home of the Australian High Commission in the UK and is Australia's oldest diplomatic post and the longest continually-occupied diplomatic building in London.
As part of the celebrations, Prince Charles and the Duchess also unveiled a symbolic stone engraving which mirrored the foundation stone that was laid by HM King George V in 1913.
The King later returned to open Australia House on August 3, 1918, with the centenary celebration being held on November 22 this year.
The royal couple also listened to a new musical piece called The House which was written by Australian composer and pianist Joe Chindamo.
During his speech, Australian High Commissioner to the UK George Brandis made an analogy between Australia House and Brexit negotiations in the UK.
"We know that the coming weeks and months will be a pivotal time in the long history of this country," he said.
"But whatever portends, of one thing the United Kingdom can be absolutely certain (is) the bonds between our two peoples will remain a solid as Australia House itself - a monument to their permanence and their endurance."