Graphic: TRH Prince Harry and Meghan reveal name of new aircraft
The Royal Flying Doctor Service was proud to host the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for the dedication of our new aircraft at the Dubbo Base today.
Prince Harry and his wife Meghan were officially welcomed to the base by RFDS South Eastern Section President Ruth Sandow soon after they arrived in Dubbo airport about 10.45am.
Mrs Sandow gave the Royal couple a brief introduction to the Flying Doctor Service and the importance of its work for rural and remote communities, particularly during the drought.
Their Royal Highnesses were also greeted by an excited crowd of RFDS staff and their families, supporters of the RFDS including the Dubbo Support Group, and patients who have been helped by the service in the past.
Vice President Joan Treweeke, General Manager, Aviation and Strategic Development, David Charlton, Chief Medical Officer Dr Randall Greenberg and the RFDS medical crew showed the pair medical equipment on display while explaining the essential work of the RFDS.
The royal couple then met Senior Base Pilot Captain Brett Croker and dedicated the new Beechcraft King Air 350 which arrived in Australia in September.
"It was a very exciting morning," Mrs Sandow said.
"After meeting RFDS staff, families, and former patients, the Royal couple pulled the curtain to reveal the name of the new aircraft, which will be known as the 'Dubbo and Region Volunteers dedicated by TRH The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.'"
Their Royal Highnesses also cut a cake to celebrate the RFDS' 90th anniversary.
Dr Greenberg said it was a great honour to be able to host the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the Dubbo Base.
"The Flying Doctor has a long and rich heritage with the Royal family - the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited our Broken Hill base in 1954, and a year later Royal patronage was bestowed on the Service renaming it the Royal Flying Doctor Service," Dr Greenberg said.
"Their Royal Highnesses Harry and Meghan represent the next generation of the Royal family so it was immensely important for us to have them visit the Dubbo Base and see the modern face of the RFDS today."
“They were very personable and interested in the work we do,” Dr Greenberg said.
“I realised they might not know what a ‘roo run’ was, so I asked them, and they said, ‘no’. I explained, that kangaroos will come to eat grass on the side of the airstrip and when our aircraft is coming in to land someone needs to drive up and down the airstrip to clear the kangaroos away so the aircraft can land safely. That was quite interesting for them!”
The Royal event attracted worldwide media coverage. More locally, Dr Greenberg and Mrs Sandow did interviews with the Channel 7 breakfast program Sunrise and on Channel Nine's Today show, plus the Royal visit to the RFDS Dubbo Base was also televised live by Channel Seven, Channel Nine and the ABC.