Royals enjoy romantic sunset over Uluru

By Royal Correspondent Juliet Rieden
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Royals enjoy romantic sunset over Uluru

In what is certain to be one of the most iconic photographs of the royal tour Kate and William walked back from their visit to Uluru alone - except for the bank of photographers whose shutters clattered like gunfire as the couple emerged from the sacred site.

It was a highly orchestrated photo opportunity to capture that rare thing - the royal couple alone together - but despite the artificiality of the situation it still felt rather special.

They had arrived a little while earlier and headed down the path without media attending on the Kuniya Walk. En route Their Royal Highnesses were told the story of the battle between Kuniya (the woma python woman) and Liru (the poisonous snake man) who are important creation ancestors for Uluru’s traditional owners.

As the blazing sun began to dip behind the monolith, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridgetrekked along a red-dirt path towards Uluru's pock-holed base. or a handful of minutes, theirs was the desert kingdom; alone to breathe in one of the deeply spiritual environs for the local Indigenous tribes - the waterhole along the Kuniya walk. "It's nice and peaceful down there, very peaceful," Prince William said.

Guides pointed to two important ancestral beings surrounding the waterhole - Kuniya, the woma python woman and Liru the poisonous snake man, whom the latter clobbered over the head with a stick and avenged the wounding of her offspring. Women's intuition, apparently the prerogative of using force to protect one's children. The Duchess chuckled when she read the lesson on the interpretive sign.

After their brief private moment by the waterhole, the Royal couple veered right up a pathway to a small cave, where they viewed Aboriginal artwork painted onto the base of Uluru.

Their guide, Sammy Wilson, couldn't be better placed to explain what the artwork meant and the significance to the Mutitjulu people. His grandfather painted it; one of the last paintings to be splashed on the side of the massive rock. "They had already seen that old bloke dance at the cultural centre, well that is the story of this place," Mr Wilson said.

Fellow guide John Sweeney said the couple were "very, very interested in everything that was said. "Yes, they were very inquisitive and a pleasure to have on a tour," he said.

"They asked about the markings on the rock where the waterfalls flow.

"You see this place can't be explained quickly, you need to go on a walk like the Royal couple did and see the marks on the rocks, which are an actual record of the ancestors. It is something that can only learnt by walking here and having that experience."

Afterwards the couple left for a last private intimate moment watching the sunset over Uluru.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge walking at the base of Uluru.


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