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Army November 22, 2012
24Troops buoyed by
SEVERAL Army members
enjoyed a rare opportunity to
chat with the Prince of Wales,
Charles, and Camilla, Duchess
of Cornwall, at Garden Island in
Sydney on November 9.
Previously deployed ADF members
and their families gathered at the Navy
Heritage Centre to meet the Royal couple.
Sgt Beau St Leone, formerly of
2 Cav and now a training sergeant at
1/15RNSWL, was accompanied by his
wife Toni and son Eli.
He said Prince Charles seemed very
down to earth and knew a lot about the
operations Australia had been involved
"I thanked him for the shortbread bis-
cuits and cigars he sent us when we were
deployed on Overwatch Battle Group 3,"
"He noticed I was Armoured Corps
and asked me how that was."
Toni St Leone said she was surprised
how genuine and informed he was.
"Today will be something our son can
look back on in later life," she said.
WO2 Donna Herbert, a CSM at 1 Int
Bn, said Prince Charles asked her and her
husband, 6 Avn Regt's Sgt Nathan Herbert,
about the length of their deployments.
"He seemed very interested in service
in Afghanistan, which probably relates to
his own son being deployed there," she
"I told him I returned from a seven-
month deployment in May and my hus-
band returned from a nine-month deploy-
ment a few weeks ago.
"Then he asked had we been able to
see each other while we were there and we
told him we had a three-month crossover
in Tarin Kot, which was a rare opportu-
WO2 Herbert said she explained that
recent changes to policy meant families
were not normally deployed in the same
location or unit.
"He had a great sense of humour and
seemed legitimately interested in our
responses -- overall I was very impressed
and honoured to have met him," she said.
The Royals arrived at Garden Island on
the Admiral's Barge, which brought them
across the harbour from Admiralty House.
They were met by CDF Gen David
Hurley and CO HMAS Kuttabul Cmdr
Prince Charles inspected the guard of
honour from Australia's Federation Guard,
as well as the Navy Band.
Returned soldiers and their families excitedly met
Charles and Camilla, Sgt Dave Morley reports.
Eminent: Prince Charles meets Sgt Beau St Leone and his son Eli (top)
as well as CDF Gen David Hurley (above) as he tours Garden Island.
Photos by AB Sarah Williams
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