26 OCTOBER 2011
Amid the adulation given to younger members of the royal family, such as Prince William and his glamorous new wife, it is sometimes easy to underestimate the star power projected by the head of the clan herself.
The Queen's tour in Australia is proving a triumph, with excited crowds giving her the sort of reception reserved for a favourite grandma.
By the time she leaves, hundreds of thousands of people will have seen her and Prince Philip on her 16th official trip to the continent.
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And the monarch, in turn, is delighted with the welcome. She positively beamed during a walkabout in Melbourne's Federation Square, accepting armfuls of flowers, flags and soft toys every step of the way
The couple also boarded the royal tram to Government House and visited a children's hospital.
A Buckinghaman Palace spokesman said not even the curtsying controversy, has taken the shine off her enjoyment.
"The person who is least concerned about protocol is the Queen, we've always said do what you feel comfortable with," she told AFP.
"Absolutely no offence was taken at all."
The Queen felt as though she was "coming home" and has a "huge fondness" for the country, the spokeswoman added.
She also played down speculation that it was likely to be the Queen's last visit to her realm Down Under, saying there was "no sense at all of 'Thank you and goodbye'."