Bridgie's royal encounter at the rock

BUCKINGHAM Palace is the world’s best-known spot for royal watching but Uluru guaranteed a far more regal reception for Bridgie Bakker.

The Warrnambool woman met Prince William and wife Catherine at the world’s largest monolith this week before the royal couple headed towards the east coast for Anzac Day commemorations.

Mrs Bakker was in the tiny Northern Territory town of Yulara as part of a cross-country trip on Wednesday and was part of the crowd welcoming the royal couple.

It wasn’t her first royal encounter, having met William’s mother, Princess Diana, in Melbourne in 1983.

“I shook hands with Di at an Ash Wednesday service at the Melbourne Concert Hall, I think it was,” Mrs Bakker said. 

“We spoke briefly. She was a very pleasant lady.”

Mrs Bakker said she was fortunate to be near Uluru as she and family members travelled around Australia.

“This time around we didn’t get to speak to Prince William but we weren’t very far away,” she said.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge did not visit Victoria as part of the Australian tour.

Princess Alexandra was the last member of the British royal family to visit south-west Victoria nearly three decades ago, while Prince Charles and Princess Diana flew to Portland in 1985 as part of city declaration celebrations.

The Prince of Wales also visited Warrnambool in 1977 to attend the May Racing Carnival, prior to an infamous appearance on ABC’s Countdown in an interview with Molly Meldrum.

Queen Elizabeth II and husband Prince Philip visited the region during the 1954 and 1970 royal tours.

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