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Royal couple join in Sydney’s Easter

25 April 2014


Easter Day service: the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at St Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney

Easter Day service: the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at St Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney

THE Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, currently visiting several states of Australia with their son Prince George, worshipped at St Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney, on Easter Day. The young prince was not, however, at the service.

The service - an informal service of morning prayer - was conducted by the Dean, the Very Revd Phillip Jensen (right, in photo); the preacher was the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies.

Apparently at the royal couple's request, the service was attended by the usual Sunday-morning congregation, and no media were allowed inside. The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, a Roman Catholic, and his wife, Margie, also attended the service.

Dr Davies spoke on the raising of Lazarus, and compared the miracle with Jesus's own death and resurrection. He said that he had often wondered what it would have been like to have gone to the second funeral of Lazarus. "Imagine what kind of joy there would have beenat that funeral . . . knowing that he would rise again," he said.

The Duke and Duchess signed the historic First Fleet Bible and Prayer Book, believed to have been used by a chaplain, Richard Johnson, when he conducted the first Anglican service in the fledgling colony of Sydney on 3 February 1788.

Kept in a museum in St Philip's, York Street, Sydney, the historic books have also been signed by other royal visitors, including the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, and the then Prince and Princess of Wales, on visits to the cathedral in the past.

In the afternoon, the Duke and Duchess, with Prince George, visited Taronga Park Zoo on the foreshores of Sydney Harbour. The enclosure housing bilbies, a small Australian marsupial mammal the size of a rabbit, was renamed the Prince George Bilby Exhibit in the Prince's honour.

On Good Friday, the Duke and Duchess visited the Royal Easter Show, in Sydney; Bear Cottage children's hospice, in Manly, a suburb of Sydney; and Manly Beach.

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