Fraser Island Royal Visit - Prince Harry and Meghan on Kingfisher Bay jetty applaud the crowds who came to see them.
Fraser Island Royal Visit - Prince Harry and Meghan on Kingfisher Bay jetty applaud the crowds who came to see them.

ROYAL RECALL: How Chronicle covered historic visits

FOR 100 years, the Fraser Coast has been a favourite Australian destination for visiting royals and the Chronicle has been there to cover their trips.

Whenever royal fever gripped the region, our reporters and photographers were on the ground.

Our team didn't just take photos and report on the royals' movements - though stunning shots and stories regularly graced our pages.

We dug deep into what the visits to Maryborough, Hervey Bay and Fraser Island meant for the region's reputation and tourism industry.

While any future royal visitors will not feature in a print version of the Chronicle, rest assured our team of local journalists will be at the ready to provide up-to-the-minute coverage on our website, frasercoastchronicle.com.au

HARRY AND MEGHAN

Two of the most recognisable faces in the world took in the sights and delights of Fraser Island during their Australian tour in 2018.

Prince Harry and his new wife, Meghan Markle, who was pregnant with Archie at the time, drew crowds wherever they went in October of that year.

Their overnight stay at Kingfisher Resort, where Harry's father, Prince Charles, had stayed in 1994, made for breathtaking photographs, captured by Chronicle chief photographer Alistair Brightman.

Their trip was front page news for four consecutive editions, culminating in an eight-page special.

Front page of the Fraser Coast Chronicle, October 24 2018.
Front page of the Fraser Coast Chronicle, October 24 2018.

Chronicle editor Jessica Grewal said the visit was a major moment not just for royal watchers and journalists but for the Fraser Coast community and the local tourism industry.

"That it came just days after the couple had announced they were expecting a baby meant the eyes of the world truly were following them wherever they went and as a result, images of our World Heritage Listed island were beamed across international news channels.

"Chronicle chief photographer Alistair Brightman and reporter Blake Antrobus were part of the official media party on Fraser Island and captured the historic day along with some particularly moving exchanges between the Duke and a group of young Butchulla dancers.

Fraser Island Royal Visit - Harry meets Ruby Burns from the Butchulla Dancers at Pile Valley.
Fraser Island Royal Visit - Harry meets Ruby Burns from the Butchulla Dancers at Pile Valley.

"Back on the mainland, it was all hands on deck for the news team who were up before dawn and posted at various vantage points including the River Heads barge and Urangan boat harbour to ensure rolling coverage for the Chronicle website.

"On day two, Al was the only member of the media in prime position at the Hervey Bay Airport.

SEE MORE: ALISTAIR BRIGHTMAN'S TOP ROYAL VISIT PHOTOS

"Airport staff, on discovering he'd been granted access to a private hanger on site, weren't too keen about the protocol nightmare that might cause so the happy compromise was a tall ladder on the public side of the fence which gave him a great view of the Duke and Duchess boarding the charter jet flight to Fiji. It was the first time Hervey Bay had technically been an international airport.

"While here, Harry expressed his gratitude for the private time out he and Meghan were able to enjoy during their stay in a secluded section of the resort on Fraser Island so hopefully they'll return post-COVID-19 restrictions and we can do it all again!"

PRINCE EDWARD

ALMOST a century before Harry's visit, another headline-grabbing prince visited the Fraser Coast.

Edward, Prince of Wales - who would go on to be king and make history by abdicating the throne in 1936 - came to Maryborough in 1920.

Page 2 of the Maryborough Chronicle, August 3 1920, ran an extensive welcome to Prince Edward as he arrived for his visit to the city. It included a map of the prince's procession through town.
Page 2 of the Maryborough Chronicle, August 3 1920, ran an extensive welcome to Prince Edward as he arrived for his visit to the city. It included a map of the prince's procession through town.

His August visit was well-documented in the Maryborough Chronicle, starting with a July 31 announcement, an official welcome and eventually a note of thanks from the prince himself.

The Chronicle wrote that it was "the biggest day that Maryborough ever experienced - a day in which memorable events were crowded into one short fleeting hour. It was the first visit of royalty to this little outpost of a mighty Empire".

PRINCE CHARLES

PRINCE Harry followed in his father's footsteps when he visited Fraser Island.

Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, stayed on the heritage-listed island during his 1994 visit.

Fraser Coast mayor George Seymour wrote in his Looking Back column for the Chronicle that Prince Charles' visit was the most recent royal trip before Harry and Meghan arrived.

He stayed at Kingfisher Resort, just like Harry and Meghan, and the resort released a statement about his stay.

Prince Charles chats with Kingfisher Bay Resort and Village staff during a visit in 1994. Photo submitted by Kingfisher Bay Resort
Prince Charles chats with Kingfisher Bay Resort and Village staff during a visit in 1994. Photo submitted by Kingfisher Bay Resort

"Prince Charles stayed at Kingfisher Bay Resort on Fraser Island, which at the time was one of the first sustainable development projects in Australia," the statement read.

"The Prince cruised along 75 Mile Beach, through the rainforest, expressing his interest in the ecology, learnt about the waste treatment system at Kingfisher Bay Resort, and shared stories of similar environmental initiatives on some of his properties."

PRINCESS ALEXANDRA

A ROYAL visit well remembered by Maryborough residents still alive today was most recently documented in mayor George Seymour's Looking Back column.

The column - a weekly fixture in the Chronicle - documented Princess Alexandra's 1959 trip to the Heritage City.

"She arrived by car from Bundaberg on September 2, 1959 for a civic reception with the mayor Robert Hunter followed by a reception on King's Oval where she spoke to students, watched displays and drove in a Land Rover through the assembled ranks of children amid great excitement," Cr Seymour wrote.

"That night thousands packed the streets of Maryborough to catch a glimpse of her arrival at the Royal Ball held in her honour at City Hall."

"The decorations in the City Hall were extraordinary, and, according to officials, the Royal Ball 'set a standard not equalled in any other city'."



IN COURT: 49 people facing Coffs Harbour court today

premium_icon IN COURT: 49 people facing Coffs Harbour court today

Here is a list of everyone who is appearing in court today, Tuesday, August 4

Our rare property with 4km of river views

premium_icon Our rare property with 4km of river views

It’s a view many would pay good money for, but this view with a difference is...

Grisly discovery made on North Coast beach

premium_icon Grisly discovery made on North Coast beach

Campers on a walk along an isolated beach made a gruesome find Sunday morning.