SHOALHAVEN City Council will make a bid to have to have the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the region during their upcoming Australian tour.
At the launch of the bid at Coolangatta estate, it said without local links Prince William and then Kate Middleton might never have met.
Alexander Berry, who along with Edward Wollstonecraft established the first European settlement on the South Coast in the early 1820s, attended St Andrews University in Fife, Scotland before emigrating to Australia.
On Berry’s death in 1873 his estate was bequeathed to his only living relative, his brother David Berry.
As part of his brother’s final wishes, David Berry bequeathed £100,000 (approximately $16 million in today’s terms) to the St Andrews University on his own death in 1889 as recognition of Alexander’s indebtedness to the institution.
Reports at the time indicate that the money bequeathed to St Andrews University rescued it from a dire financial situation.
St Andrews University is where Prince William met his future wife Kate Middleton in 2005.
Shoalhaven Mayor Joanna Gash said that had it not been for the donation provided by Alexander Berry it was extremely likely that the Royal couple would not have met.
“Shoalhaven City is extremely proud to be extending this very special invitation to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge,” Cr Gash said.
“Although he could not have known it at the time, Alexander Berry’s extremely generous donation to St Andrews University has helped make one of the most famous relationships in the world possible.
“It is extremely remarkable to consider that some of the most everlasting images of the past decade, including the Royal wedding and the birth of Prince George, may not have been possible without the Shoalhaven.”
Cr Gash said council had compiled a full four-day itinerary for the Royal couple as part of the invitation, including a visit to Coolangatta Mountain, the final resting place of David Berry.
Suggestions on what the Royal couple might like to experience should they choose to visit the Shoalhaven can be made by the following link: shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au/MyCouncil/DukeandDuchessofCambridge.aspx