His countryman James Bond definitely would have approved.
Dressed in a smart jacket and trousers but not a Bond-style bow tie, Prince William came within inches of falling from a 100-metre cliff face in Katoomba on Thursday.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were at Narrow Neck Lookout, a spectacular vertical cliff that plunges 100 metres to the lush bush below. As he watched abseilers dropping down the cliff, Prince William stepped to within inches of the edge to have a really good look out, without wearing a safety harness.
“He took a bit of a lunge and a few people held their breath, gasped and readied their hands to grab him,” said Damian Cooper, manager of the Mountains Youth Service Team.
“He was fine of course, he knew what he was doing. I think his military background prepared him well for it.”
Tim Williams of the Blue Mountains Adventure Company added: “He was very calm on the edge he didn’t worry about the safety briefing to stay a fair distance back. He just stepped up to have a cool look over.
“He said it would be nice to come back another time and have a good look himself. They were both keen, it was just their attire that held them back. It’s a bit difficult to abseil in a suit and dress.”
James Bond would disagree with that last sentence. Nonetheless, Prince William and the Duchess departed Narrow Neck Lookout having left onlookers with a real sense of derring-do.
The couple met a group of local teenagers from Mountains Youth Service Team’s adventure program. The youngsters demonstrated a range of adventure activities, including problem solving activities and games.
Among them was 15-year-old Kaleb Robertson who said “it was an honour and privilege to meet the Royals, and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity.
“I enjoyed working with Prince William on the ‘traffic jam’ team building exercise. And I’d like to thank Daryl and the team at MYST for all that they do, but most especially organising the day and all the activities I have participated in previously.”
The Glenmore Park teenager, who attends Blaxland High School, even got a congratulatory pat on the back from the Duchess of Cambridge when his team solved one of the activities.