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Charles and Camilla show off table tennis skills on tour of athletes’ village

The royals are in Australia for the start of the Commonwealth Games.

Royal visit to Australia – Day Two
Royal visit to Australia – Day Two

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall tried their hands at table tennis as they toured the athletes’ village at the Commonwealth Games – with Camilla joking that she would “leave it to the professionals”.

The duchess, wearing a pale pink loose-fitted dress and a scarf adorned with two koala brooches, gamely picked up a bat to test her skills against Australian boxers Anja Stridsman and Caitlin Parker.

She was joined by Lucy Turnbull, the wife of Australia’s prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, but, with a laugh and a smile, the Duchess concluded: “I think I’ll leave it to the professionals.”

But Ms Parker, 21, declared: “She smashed it!”

Royal visit to Australia – Day Two

Ms Stridsman, 30, added: “It was a pretty special moment. I feel ready for my match now I’ve played royalty.”

As the tour of the village’s games room continued, Camilla did not stop there.

Picking up a pool cue, she looked bemused – but Australian shot put para-athlete Marty Jackson was on hand to help her out and show her how to use it.

Meanwhile, her husband spent a few moments testing out his own table tennis skills against a Bangladeshi athlete.

As the ping pong ball dropped off the table, he threw his hands up in the air with a smile.

Earlier, the couple had arrived at the athletes’ village on Australia’s Gold Coast to crowds of competitors and staff, all eager to catch a glimpse.

Both Charles and Camilla chatted to members of the England women’s hockey team, including gold medallists Susannah Townsend and Sophie Bray.

Ms Townsend said: “She (Camilla) asked us what sport we played, how we expected to do, who our biggest threats were and then she wished us luck.”

England netball captain Ama Agbeze, 35, also managed to capture a selfie with the duchess.

“She said how it must be quite strange to be divided as home nations at the Commonwealth Games,” said the athlete.

“It was great to have the royals here – especially as they’re British as well.”

Charles is on a seven-day tour of Australia, with the duchess joining him for the first three days.

After officially opening the Commonwealth Games on behalf of the Queen on Wednesday night, the heir to the throne will go on to visit cities including Darwin and Cairns, as well as the South Pacific island of Vanuatu to see how its inhabitants recovered from a devastating cyclone in 2015.

The prince also held a private meeting with Mr Turnbull, a pro-Republican, on Thursday.

Mr Turnbull has previously spoken of the possibility of Australians being given their say on whether to scrap the monarchy after the Queen dies.

Earlier this week, Australia’s former prime minister Paul Keating claimed that Charles would support the country cutting ties with the monarchy and becoming a republic.

Press Association

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