Prince William and Catherine visit Aboriginal site of Uluru

The Duke and Duchess saw sunset at Ayers Rock, as Nicholas Witchell reports

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have visited the sacred Aboriginal site of Uluru as they continue their tour of Australia.

The royal couple were presented with an Aboriginal spear at the landmark, also known as Ayers Rock.

They flew to Yulara, close to Uluru, before visiting the National Indigenous Training Academy.

Their son, Prince George, is not with them on this stage of the tour. He has stayed in Canberra with his nanny.

The Duchess of Cambridge described the sight of Uluru from the air as "absolutely stunning".

Before touring the site, the royal couple visited the National Indigenous Training Academy to present recent hospitality and catering graduates with their certificates.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana visiting Uluru in 1983 Prince Charles and Princess Diana visited Uluru in 1983 when William was just nine months old
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Uluru The couple were given an insight into Aboriginal culture during their visit to the World Heritage Site
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Uluru The Duke and Duchess left their young son George with his nanny for the latest leg of their Australian tour
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with aboriginal spear at Uluru Earlier William was presented with a traditional Aboriginal spear made from mulga wood and kangaroo vein
Duchess of Cambridge receiving traditional Aboriginal necklace Catherine received a traditional necklace and a hand-painted bracelet during her visit to the National Indigenous Training Academy
Duchess of Cambridge at the National Indigenous Training Academy The duchess described the sight of Uluru from the air as "absolutely stunning"
Duke of Cambridge greeting Aboriginal elder The royals watched traditional dancing and were given paintings made from the droppings of a mala - a type of wallaby

There William was presented with a spear by students Kamurin and Sherelle Young, while Catherine was given a a hand-painted bracelet.

Mrs Young said afterwards: "William was pleased; he was so thankful.

"I told him it was made from wood from the mulga tree and that it had kangaroo vein, used as twine, on it. He was shocked - he said, 'Wow!'"

The duke and duchess went on a brief walkabout, meeting well-wishers including Amanda Bartels, who had driven for five hours from Alice Springs to see them.

Ms Bartels, who was holding her 10-month-old son Nathan, said after meeting the duchess: "I asked her if she was missing George and she said she was so I said my son could be her George substitute.

"She let him play with her bracelet and she said, 'You like that; do you want it?'."

Chief Minister for the Northern Territory Adam Giles said the whole region was "pumped" that the couple had chosen to visit the area.

Uluru - a sandstone mound almost 350 metres high, more than two miles long and a mile wide - has great cultural significance to the Aboriginal people.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meets crowds close to Uluru Crowds of well-wishers have gathered to meet the couple and their son in New Zealand and Australia
Well-wishers take photos of the royal couple The three-week tour comes to an end on Friday

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