The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have been welcomed at Carrara Stadium to officially open the Commonwealth Games.
The athletes were serenaded by surf lifesavers, but Prince Charles and Camilla received the warmest welcome from Indigenous Elders at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.
The royal couple shook off an early downpour to attend a mercifully dry Carrara Stadium, where the Prince of Wales officially opened the Gold Coast Games on Wednesday night.
And as Indigenous protesters clashed with police outside over the presence of Commonwealth officials, the sentiment inside the venue was one of acknowledgement and understanding.
In front of a full house, the heir to the British throne and his wife were welcomed by Yugambeh Elder Ted Williams and watched from the royal box as he delivered the Welcome to Country before a reverent totem ceremony.
At the close of the formalities he emerged from a tunnel and walked to the centre of stadium where Sally Pearson had just delivered the baton.
"The ancient stories told by the Indigenous people of Australia remind us that even though we may be half a world away, we are all connected," Charles said.
"Over the years these friendly Games have shown the potential of the Commonwealth to connect people of different backgrounds and nationalities.
"In this spirit of cooperation and togetherness, common ground has been established and enduring friendships forged."
Charles delivered the message on behalf of his mother, Queen Elizabeth.
And then, with a flick and a flourish, he got down to business.
"Your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen," he said, "it now gives me the greatest pleasure to declare the 21st Commonwealth Games open."
Throughout the ceremony the Prince and Duchess of Cornwall mingled with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, a well-known supporter of an Australian republic.
Their arrival had been somewhat more rushed as the heavens opened just in time for the duo to step out of their motorcade, which had suffered a dramatic mishap on the way to Carrara Stadium.
Two policemen escorting the royal couple were injured when their motorcycles collided but Queensland Police said the crash did not "impede or impact" the motorcade's movement.
Commonwealth Games Federation president Louise Martin and Games Corporation chairman Peter Beattie were on hand to greet and whisk them straight up to a welcome reception with dignitaries from all 71 Commonwealth Games associations.
Not for the first time since touching down in Brisbane on Wednesday, Camilla was promptly provided with an umbrella she was content to carry herself.
The Duchess dazzled in a pale blue silk crepe dress with beaded motifs and piping, a creation by Anna Valentine - the same British luxury designer that made her wedding dress in 2005. She coupled it with an elegant pearl choker.