A group of Western Australia's most prominent business, sporting and media personalities gathered at a garden party yesterday to chat with the Queen. Strictly an invite-only affair, the stately soirée was hosted by WA Premier Colin Barnett and his wife, Lyn, at West Australian Government House.
So who scored an invitation to take tea with Her Majesty? Well, the guest list for the state reception included iron-ore billionaire Gina Rinehart, Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh, Defence Minister Stephen Smith, Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi, and the first indigenous federal member of parliament, Ken Wyatt.
Guests ate Australiana-themed food, sipped Margaret River wine, and waited up to two-hours to greet Her Majesty. To the tune of a brass fanfare, the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh strolled down a path from Government House to the garden party, where they were presented with a bouquet of flowers and a book of drawings by artist Philippa Nikulinsky.
Perth's VIPs all professed themselves charmed by the Queen, but the Sydney Morning Herald reported Prince Philip was rather nonplussed by Gina Rinehart's choice of pointy headwear. It's all fun and games 'til a royal loses an eye.