YOU can’t help but feel sorry for Bathurst.
For months the city has been gearing up for a royal visit planning ways to impress and entertain the most famous people on earth the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Bathurst put forward a strong case arguing as it was the oldest inland European settlement in the country and has long links to the royal family it was a must-see.
Prince Harry’s grandmother the Queen has visited the city twice and the opportunity of following in her footsteps must have been tempting.
While there were suggestions the couple might want to rip around one of the world’s premier racing circuits, the iconic Mount Panorama, it seems unlikely something so thrilling would have made its way on to the royal agenda.
To be fair the nearby magnificent Mayfield Garden would have held some appeal providing just the right location to host royal guests.
But it seems Bathurst will have to move on.
There didn’t seem too much of a push from Orange but maybe there was a campaign to woo the royals that we weren’t aware of.
Instead, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will pay a visit to Dubbo where they no doubt be welcomed with open arms.
We can only congratulate Dubbo on what is a great coup for the city and planning will start straight away to ensure they make the most of the trip.
But while all the other cities in the region, including Orange, can admit to a tinge of envy, the choice of Dubbo does not mean Orange, or for that matter Bathurst, residents need to be locked out of the fun.
No doubt there will be plenty of buses running from throughout the region on the day and we can only imagine the energy and excitement of those on board.
There will also be school excursions, day trips for elderly groups and people making detours to ensure Dubbo and the Central West are on their itinerary.
In fact Orange will probably see some of the additional tourism traffic head its way.
Having the royal couple in the Central West should be a source of pride for the entire region – a chance for us to come together rather than a time to set us apart.
Royalist or republican, young or old, from Orange, Bathurst or from Dubbo, we should all appreciate and embrace this moment in history and make the most of the opportunities this royal visit will create.
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