The Duchess of Sussex traded in her navy blue heels for black flats and a matching dress as the royal couple caught one of Melbourne’s iconic trams to the beach.
Showing they’re not afraid to get their hands dirty, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will help local schoolchildren pick up litter from South Melbourne beach.
Changing into a pair of Rothy’s flats and a matching black Miguellina Dress, Meghan and her husband made their way onto Melbourne’s iconic mode of transport, along with student leaders at a local school.
Arriving at the beach, the couple were fortunate to be greeted not only by roaring crowds, but also a bit of sunshine.
Prince Harry, who was wearing a grey suit, held hands with Meghan as he walked along the sand.
Earlier, despite the royal couple arriving 20 minutes late for their first engagement of the day, the crowd of around 5,000 showed no sign of dampening their enthusiasm, gripped by ‘Meg-Mania’.
The couple have enjoyed crowds even larger than those seen in Sydney two days earlier, with some reserving their spot to see the royals as early as 4am.
After lunch, the Duke and Duchess made a quick wardrobe change, the latter changing from heels to flats
Prince Harry also changed from the navy suit which originally matched his wife’s outfit into a grey jacket and black trousers
The couple arrived at South Melbourne Beach where they join a group of volunteers, lifesavers and schoolchildren
The couple took Melbourne’s iconic tram system to the beach, catching it with student leaders at a local school
Thousands of royal fans gathered at the Royal Botanic Gardens to take photos and meet the royal couple as they arrived
Sporting the pasta necklace a young boy made for her, Meghan made her way through throngs of fans to Government House, with husband Harry carrying armfuls of flowers behind her
The couple were also treated to lunch at Fitzroy’s Charcoal Lane, which offers Aboriginal youths employment
Meghan even gave AFL a crack, demonstrating solid form for an ecstatic crowd when she was shown how to handball
One boy, who took the day off school to meet the royals, said: ‘Everybody in Melbourne loves Harry and Meghan and all my friends will be so jealous I got to meet them.’
The mother-to-be was then wearing the Australian-made designer dress with a Martin Grant trench coat and beamed as she made her way through the city’s Royal Botanic Gardens.
In matching navy blue heels, the Duchess looked delighted to meet young Australians and was even handed a bouquet of flowers and a teddy bear for her future baby.
Among the crowd, hundreds offered flowers, teddy bears and gifts for the royal couple, with one young girl eager to tell the Duchess about her ballet.
Many were carrying flowers and signs including two witty notices reading: ‘Worth the detention’ and the ‘Fresh Prince with Red Hair’.
The rest of the day will hold significance for Harry and Meghan as they visit projects that align with their goals on the tour
The crowd of about 5,000 showed no sign of dampening their enthusiasm for the pair, despite being slightly behind schedule
One teenage fan, India Brown, let her emotions get the better of her, bursting into tears as Prince Harry offered up a hug
A heartwarming picture taken of Prince Harry greeting a baby as the child’s mother and dozens of smiling fans watch on
Harry and Meghan have now been and gone at Government House, where they were greeted by Governor Linda Dessau
She was seen sporting a navy Australian-designed Dion Lee dress and camel coloured Martin Grant trench coat
Eight-year-old Rhys Pratt begged his mum Naomi to allow him to take the day off school, going so far to make a flag bearing the colours of the the county of Sussex.
Rhys said: ‘I wanted to come here so badly but my mum said I had to go to school.
‘My dad is from Yorkshire in England and I really love Harry and Meghan so after I promised to make a flag to give to them my mum said she would take me.’
Harry told the schoolboy his creation was ‘cool’ and thanked him for coming to meet him.
Prince Harry also brought a teenage girl to tears, after 19-year-old university student India Brown told him she had admired him for years.
She stole a hug from the Prince, despite knowing it was against protocol.
The teenager was overwhelmed when Prince Harry hugged her after spotting her sign, which read: ‘Been here since 4am, loved you since I was 8.’
Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan arrived a little behind schedule due to an accident on the Tullamarine Freeway
The royal couple spent nearly half an hour talking to the thousands of adoring fans that came out to greet them
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex raced model Formula 1 cars inside Government House, meeting with young leaders
Duchess Meghan was seen patting a guide dog in the reception of Government House
Recently announced pregnant, Meghan removed her coat as the couple approached the steps of Government House
Once again, the couple abandoned their strict scheduling to enable them to meet as many fans as possible on their first engagement before they were received by the Governor of Victoria Linda Dessau.
They attended the official reception, meeting a diverse group of young Victorian leaders and community members.
They included Queen’s Young Leader Hunter Johnson, founder of The Man Cave mental health initiative, a cause close to Harry’s heart.
Last year the prince opened up about his own personal battles with his anger and inner demons and how he sought professional help for these issues.
After leaving Government House, foodie Meghan was in her element as she and Harry enjoyed a taste of Australia at Charcoal Lane, a social enterprise restaurant in Melbourne’s trendy Fitzroy suburb.
Executive Chef Greg Hampton (right) told the royal couple how they provide opportunity to young Aboriginal people
They were treated to lunch inside the restaurant, trialing iconic Australian flavours like kangaroo and barramundi
At a private lunch, the royal couple enjoyed a shared entree of mushroom and quinoa nest and chargrilled kangaroo and main courses of wild boar, saffron risotto and barramundi.
It was prepared by young chefs being trained by the Mission Australia program, which assists young indigenous Australians into employment, in many cases giving them a fresh start in life.
Before the meal, they visited the kitchen, where Executive Chef Greg Hampton told the Duke and Duchess: ‘Welcome, we are so happy to have you here.’
Gesturing at the sparkling surfaces, Harry said: ‘You’ve got a very clean kitchen – is it always this clean? Especially clean today?’
Meghan slipped off her Martin Grant trench coat in the warm room before Greg talked the couple through an array of unusual herbs and aromatic spices, getting them to smell and taste them.
‘A lot of these ingredients have been here for thousands of years. Our fruits are the same as fruits thousands of years ago,’ he explained.
Showing them a finger lime, he squeezed out the fleshy contents, explaining: ‘It comes out like caviar.’
‘Oh my goodness, that’s incredible,’ said the Duchess.
But he warned the couple that the Tasmanian Pepper came with a kick, adding: ‘I don’t want to freak you out!’
The couple departed Government House, visiting an Aboriginal artwork mural on Fitzroy restaurant Charcoal Lane
Speaking ahead of their arrival, he had said: ‘I would hesitate to offer her (the pregnant Duchess) the pepper, because they are quite hot.
‘The first time I tasted one I thought I was having an allergic reaction because the heat creeps up on you. I don’t want to freak her out.’
Crushing a leaf of Strawberry Gum, a type of Eucalyptus, he encouraged the royal visitors to smell it.
‘Is that what Koalas eat in the Bush?’ asked the Duke.
‘Yes, but we can’t eat it in the same way,’ replied Greg, explaining how oils from the plant are used to flavour marinades, fish dishes and even ice cream.
The couple were presented with Charcoal Lane aprons for the ‘touch, taste and smell’ experience, but did not wear them.
At a private lunch, the royal couple enjoyed a shared entree of mushroom and quinoa nest and chargrilled kangaroo and main courses of wild boar, saffron risotto and barramundi
A natural foodie, Duchess Meghan was in her element and encouraged to try the ‘touch, taste and smell’ experience
Speaking ahead of the royal visit, Greg said: ‘We are here to support young Aboriginal people into the workforce, with a view that when they leave this place, there is going to be long-term employment for them.
‘I’m not going to turn everyone that comes here into a chef, but if they leave here with a work ethic, it’s a win for us.’
Charcoal Lane currently employs 23 young people for 15 hours a week as they work towards a Certificate II in hospitality.
‘A lot of them come from backgrounds where nobody has worked, so this is very important for them,’ said Greg.
The Duke and Duchess’ visit to the restaurant began after they admired a mural outside created by Gunnai and Waradgerie man Robert Young to honour the building and the area’s indigenous heritage.
He told Harry and Meghan how his Celebration Dreaming artwork references Aboriginal identity, connections and culture in inner Melbourne Fitzroy.
Before heading into the kitchen, they received a Welcome to Country delivered by Wurundjeri Elder Uncle Colin Hunter.
Thousands of royal fans have gathered at Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens, braving what was a slightly rainy morning
‘You are going to get me in trouble,’ India Brown (pictured) says the Prince told her after a protocol-breaking hug
Mission Australia CEO, James Toomey said: ‘It was such a fantastic and humbling surprise to hear that Mission Australia’s restaurant, Charcoal Lane was chosen to welcome The Duke and Duchess for a tour, hands-on cooking session and lunch. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the students to meet Their Royal Highnesses. Not too many young people can say they’ve met and served royalty!
‘At Charcoal Lane, we are passionate about celebrating Aboriginal history and providing students with a culturally safe space to express their individual identities and overcome any challenges they may face on their journey to employment. Our program not only provides training and real work for young locals, but also fosters a sense of cultural and community pride which we are proud to have shared with Their Royal Highnesses.
‘We also encourage locals and visitors to Melbourne to make a reservation at Charcoal Lane – there are not many places you can say you ate the same meal as the royal couple while also making a social difference.’
After their lunch, they hopped on a tram and are making their way to South Melbourne beach, where they’ll clean up litter with local school children.
The couple started their day with a walkabout through Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens, where thousands turned out to catch a glimpse of the couple
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex walked up the driveway to meet the public before heading into Government House
One man was led away by police in handcuffs after being apprehended behind barriers at the Royal Botanic Gardens
The couple have two further engagements that cannot be announced in advance for security reasons, but will later enjoy a trip on an iconic Melbourne tram to South Melbourne beach.
It’s likely to be a shiny new carriage fit for a king, or at least sixth-in-line-to-the-throne.
At the beach, they will join volunteers and school children from the local BeachPatrol group.
Their Royal Highnesses will learn about efforts to keep Port Phillip Bay beaches and foreshores clear of litter to reduce the negative impact on the marine environment.
Many royals fans carried signs including two witty notices reading: ‘Worth the detention’ and the ‘Fresh Prince with Red Hair’
Two Melbourne schoolgirls are pictured with a welcome sign ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan’s arrival in Melbourne
Huge crowds gathered in Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens for Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s impending arrival
Royal fans are seen eagerly awaiting the arrival of the The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Melbourne on Thursday morning
Victorian Premier and republican Daniel Andrews met Prince Harry and Meghan at the airport on Thursday morning.
Before they landed, he said he couldn’t wait to have them in town.
‘We’ll be delighted to have them here,’ he said.
‘There’s some activities at Government House including an opportunity for the royal couple to meet lots of Victorians who I’m sure will be queued up to say hello and to say congratulations on the pregnancy.’
After a busy day in Melbourne, Prince Harry and Meghan are due to head back to Sydney.
It comes after their trip to the rural town of Dubbo, in regional New South Wales, where the royal couple helped on a farm, met with the Royal Flying Doctor Service and chatted with schoolchildren.
Heartwarming moments between Harry and Meghan on their Australian tour
Touching down at Sydney International Airport on Monday, Harry protectively guided Meghan to an awaiting car. Just hours later, Kensington Palace tweeted that the couple were expecting a baby.
PROUD PARENTS TO BE
In their first appearance since the news of Meghan’s pregnancy broke, the couple smiled proudly and held hands on their tour through Admiralty House on Tuesday morning. It was there that the Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove gifted the couple a toy kangaroo with joey and a pair of tiny ugg boots.
Prince Harry jokingly scolded a man for gifting his wife a $500 bunch of flowers at Taronga Zoo on Tuesday morning. ‘You can’t give flowers that big to my wife, what is that all about?’ Harry joked. Meghan thanked the man for the extravagant arrangement.
WATCH YOUR STEP
Later in the day, the couple held hands as they walked down the steps of the Sydney Opera House to the cheers of thousands of fans. Harry had his gaze on the steps as Meghan made her way down in a pair of sky-high stiletto heels.
Harry and Meghan have enjoyed their time with children on the tour and in many instances have crouched down to get closer to them. In a particularly touching moment in Dubbo on Wednesday, the couple ignored protocol and embraced five-year-old Luke Vincent, who has Down syndrome. The youngster pulled on Harry’s facial hair and handed Meghan flowers.
As Harry delivered a speech at Dubbo’s Victoria Park on Wednesday afternoon, Meghan held an umbrella over his head in an effort to shield him from the pouring rain. The former-actress encouragingly nodded as Harry spoke of the resilience of Australian farmers.
Harry and Meghan’s whirlwind three-week tour of Australasia
Tuesday, October 16: Sydney, Australia – The first day of the tour began and ended at Admiralty House after a visit to the zoo and Sydney Opera House.
Wednesday, October 17: Dubbo, Australia – The couple flew to Dubbo, in the New South Wales central west, to meet drought affected farmers, followed by a visit to a local school and a community BBQ.
Thursday, October 18: Melbourne, Australia – Harry and Meghan arrived in the southern city, visiting Government House and social enterprise café. The Duke and Duchess will travel on an iconic Melbourne tram to South Melbourne beach
Friday, October 19: Sydney, Australia – Harry and Meghan will visit Bondi Beach. Later the Duke will climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge to officially raise the Invictus Flag.
Saturday, October 20: Sydney, Australia – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will travel by boat to attend the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge on Cockatoo Island. In the evening, Harry and Meghan will attend a reception at the Opera House.
Sunday, October 21: Sydney, Australia – Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex will watch some Invictus Games events, including cycling and sailing.
Monday October 22: Fraser Island, Australia – Their Royal Highnesses will travel to Queensland’s Fraser Island.
Tuesday, October 23: Suva, Fiji – Their Royal Highnesses will be greeted by a Guard of Honour at Suva airport, before calling on His Excellency The President of Fiji at Borron House followed by a State Dinner.
Wednesday, October 24: Suva, Fiji – His Royal Highness will lay a wreath at the Fiji War Memorial, and meet a number of Fijian war veterans. The Duchess to the British High Commissioner’s Residence and to Suva Market.
Thursday, October 25: Nadi, Fiji and Nuku’alofa, Tonga – The Duke and Duchess will travel to the city of Nadi and unveil a new statue. Their Royal Highnesses will take a chartered flight to Tonga
Friday, October 26: Nuku’alofa, Tonga and Sydney, Australia – The Duke and Duchess will visit the St George Building for meet the Prime Minister and will travel to The Royal Palace for an official farewell with The King before departing for Sydney, where they will attend the the Australian Geographic Society Awards
Saturday, October 27: Sydney, Australia – Their Royal Highnesses will spend the afternoon at the wheelchair basketball finals of the Invictus Games, before attending the Closing Ceremony
Sunday, October 28: Wellington, New Zealand – The pair will attend the traditional welcome ceremony on the lawns of Government House
Monday, October 29: Wellington and Abel Tasman, New Zealand – The Duke and Duchess will meet young people from a number of mental health projects operating in New Zealand and will travel to Abel Tasman National Park
Tuesday, October 30: Auckland, New Zealand – Their Royal Highnesses will travel to Auckland, where they will firstly visit the North Shore to dedicate a 20 hectare area of native bush to The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy. They will then join the Prime Minister to visit Pillars, a charity operating across New Zealand. Later that afternoon, The Duke and Duchess will have the opportunity to meet the people of Auckland on the Viaduct Harbour, before attending a reception hosted by the Prime Minister at the Auckland War Memorial Museum
Wednesday, October 31: Rotorua, New Zealand – The final day of their Royal Highnesses’ tour will take place in Rotorua. Next, The Duke and Duchess will head to Rainbow Springs to learn more about the centre’s kiwi breeding programme. Later that afternoon, the Duke and Duchess will head into the city for the chance to meet members of the public gathered there
Thursday, November 1: Their Royal Highnesses will return to Auckland that evening, before departing for London the following day