School sustainability fit for a royal

​Hundreds of schoolchildren in Albert Park and surrounds had a memorable day last week when Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex came to visit.

The visit created an experience for The Duke and Duchess that focused on young leaders, education and environmental sustainability.

garden tour
Meeting Albert Park Primary School's sustainability leaders. Credit: Penny Bradfield/Auspic/DPS.

Around 600 Albert Park Primary School students greeted them, with loud cheers and ​waving home-made eco flags.

Students Evie and Radley gave the Duke and Duchess a tour of the school. They took them to the "Paradise" garden and met their school's Sustainability Leaders.

Student Chloe says, 'We taught them why worm farms are important, and what we do with our compost.'

The students bring organic waste to school to put into the compost bin. Every week, the students turn it into compost which is used in the garden.

Chloe also introduced them to a new school snail. 'We got Prince Harry to name him,' Chloe says.

Speedy the snail
Chloe holding Speedy the snail. Credit: Penny Bradfield/Auspic/DPS.

Prince Harry named him Speedy.

'It was really exciting,' Chloe says. 'I'm going to keep Speedy with the rest of my pet snails.'

Student Emma says meeting The Duke and Duchess was the best day of her life.

'I was talking to Meghan and Harry about the plants in our garden and mulching,' Emma says. 'They think it's really good that we have a garden. This one is brand new. We have Indigenous plants along the front.'

Sustainability coordinator, STEM specialist and Grade Six teacher Andrea Eales says it was a fantastic day. 'The students knew a lot about what they talked about,' Andrea says. 'They've had a big impact around the world, in our community and beyond.'

'They've taken the message of sustainability to many people. They've shared it with our special visitors today, and that's going to many people. It's fantastic.'

From the school, the Duke and Duchess hopped on a tram with local school captains down to South Melbourne Beach, where they were greeted by more schoolkids from 12 local schools.

Albert Park Primary School Principal Elaine Mills says it was fun, exciting and a great opportunity for the students to share their learning.

'I think they understand the significance of having a young royal couple who are connecting with the next generation,' Elaine says. 'It's been a really rewarding process.'