WE all know they’re in love. We gushed over the romantic pics from Dubbo yesterday.
Now get a load of the latest adorable couple moment – Prince Harry holding his wife Meghan Markle’s hand with not one, but both of his own, on their whirlwind tour of Melbourne today.
Fans immediately swooned. An Instagram fan page for the couple, which has been documenting special moments during the Australian tour pretty much minute by minute, posted the cute scene here:
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A post shared by Meghan Markle (@hrhofsussex) on
AT THE BEACH
An Aussie lifeguard left Meghan in stitches after making a cheeky suggestion during when the royal couple stopped by South Melbourne beach this afternoon to learn about Beach Patrol, a volunteer-run initiative aiming to keep the foreshore clean.
During the visit, local lifeguard Jose Lightfoot told news.com.au that she’d suggested to the pregnant Duchess that she might like to take a dip.
She said Meghan took one look at the grey skies and choppy water and burst into laughter.
“Not today!” she told Jose.
Meanwhile, Prince Harry shared a cheeky moment of his own with Jose’s colleague, Sebastian Topp.
Taking in the lifeguard’s impressive height, Harry deadpanned: “You were built for lifeguarding.”
Sebastian admitted he was a bit starstruck by the encounter.
“He commented on my big feet,” he told news.com.au.
“I just laughed, I was a bit shy… it’s a big deal (meeting royals).”
Fellow lifeguard Emma Horn also got the chance to chat with the Duke and Duchess, whom she described as “really lovely”.
“They were so friendly, and nice,” she said.
“They wanted to know all about our jobs, and how long we’d been in the professional lifeguard service.”
Hundreds of people waited waiting all day for Harry and Meghan to arrive with the couple running behind schedule.
Thankfully the dark and ominous clouds that have followed the couple didn’t open up for the outdoor meet and greet.
Many were so keen to get a glimpse of the royals they waded into the water:
Prince Harry and Meghan are now en route back to Admiralty House in Sydney.
On Friday, the couple will embark on another jam-packed day, which includes a visit to Bondi Beach for a mental health initiative and a Sydney Harbour Bridge climb with the Prime Minister.
HARRY BUSTS A MOVE
Earlier today during the couple’s meet and greet in Melbourne Prince Harry got an unexpected surprise when he heard a choir start belting out the royal couple’s wedding song Stand by Me.
“Much better than the original,” he told them once he figured out what was going on.
The singing group was organised by Fox FM’s Fifi, Fev and Byron and they wore special shirts they displayed right as Harry got near.
Harry started asking, “Who’s singing” and pricked up his ears up before bopping along to the iconic and sentimental tune.
During the couple’s ceremony at St George’s Chapel The Kingdom Choir performed a rendition of Stand By Me.
The Ben E. King classic is one of the best-selling and well-known songs of all time.
We don’t know how Fev managed to pull off greeting Meghan and Harry with a choir singing their wedding song! THIS WAS AMAZING!! @BrendanFevola25. 😍🙌#RoyalTourAustralia #RoyalVisitAustralia #harryandmeghan pic.twitter.com/AwxvVMibZn— Fifi, Fev and Byron (@fififevandbyron)
WHAT MADE MEGHAN JUMP?
A quiet viewing of school displays during the royal couple’s visit to Melbourne took a turn when the Duchess of Sussex got a fright.
Meghan Markle launched back when a mini F1 car shot out at speed and was then heard saying, “I did not expect that!”
The boys demonstrating then asked if she wanted to have another go to which she replied, “No, thank you”, and doubled over in shocked laughter.
The Trinity Grammar students continued to show off their award-winning miniature F1 cars, which Harry and Meghan raced against each other.
Harry pumped his fist when they were invited to try out the cars, with both surprised at how fast they moved along a track set up on a dining table.
Prince Harry asked to pick up one of the cars and if they were 3D printed.
“3D printing being put to good use,” he told them.
“That is fantastic.”
The Duchess of Sussex received a little fright!— news.com.au (@newscomauHQ)
The royals visited the display during a reception at Victoria’s Government House. About 350 people attended the reception the reception hosted by Governor of Victoria Linda Dessau, where the Duke and Duchess were able to meet the young Victorians behind several innovative and entrepreneurial endeavours.
QUICK OUTFIT CHANGE
After this morning’s Dion Lee mania, Meghan changed her outfit.
The Duchess emerged from Melbourne’s Charcoal Lane restaurant in a Club Monaco dress with gold buttons along one side.
She also understandly switched to flat shoes from her Manolo Blahnik pumps because every pregnant woman deserves to be comfortable, even if they’re a royal.
They appeared to be the same flats everyone went nuts for on day one.
You can remind yourself why they’re so good here.
— Shayne Whiteley (@newsheli)
The couple then toured a Melbourne primary school, hearing about how the children pack “nude” lunch boxes with no food wrapped up, while also eating from a vegetable garden on the grounds.
In keeping with the sustainability theme, Meghan’s shoes are made from recycled water bottles.
The kids from the sustainably-minded school showed their compost system and worm garden.
The couple even got up close with a recently caught pet snail they got to name.
School girls Chloe and Daisy showed off their catch and asked the pair to name the slimy creature.
“I think I’ll leave it to Harry,” the Duchess told the students.
“I think Speedy,” the Duke told the delighted girls.
Gracie, Meredith, Pheobe and Tilly, all 6, got to speak about their plastic-free lunches.
“I’m really excited,” Gracie said about meeting the duo.
Her friend Meredith said they were a little bit nervous too.
“Just a little bit though,” she said.
Both said they had been looking forward to seeing them for ages.
The couple shook hands with screaming schoolchildren eager to get a glimpse of the famous couple.
The couple then left the school and boarded a tram to head down Melbourne’s iconic streets on their way to the beach to do a clean up.
— Rosanne Michie (@RosanneMichie1)
MEGHAN HITS THE KITCHEN AGAIN
We already know the way to Harry’s heart is through his stomach, with the couple roasting a chicken before he proposed.
Meghan removed her coat as she and Harry arrived at the kitchen of Melbourne social enterprise cafe Charcoal Lane, where they learnt about Australian native bush food.
They were set to eat an entree of mushroom and quinoa nest and chargrilled kangaroo, and a main course of wild boar, saffron risotto and barramundi.
“You can taste anything you like,” head chef Greg Hampton told them.
“Just ask me first.” Mr Hampton was motivated by the health of the pregnant Duchess.
“I would hesitate to give Meghan the Tasmanian pepper,” he said before the tour.
“The first time I tried it, I thought I was having an allergic reaction.”
Also on the menu, crispy fried saltbush, bunya nuts, sea blight, rosella flowers, cinnamon myrtle, lemon Tea Tree leaves and river mint, to name a few.
One of his favourites, a leaf which the chef crushed and gave to Meghan and Harry to smell.
“It’s got a few different names, it’s called fruit salad herb, strawberry gum, forest berry herb … people get musk out of it, people get mango out of it, people get berries out of it, eucalyptus,” he told them.
The restaurant specialises in seasonally driven native flavours while providing a comprehensive, accredited training program for young people who have experienced challenges on their journey to employment.
Charcoal Lane supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people through pathways in hospitality, while connecting to culture through food.
ROYAL FEVER HITS MELBOURNE
Royal mania peaked in Melbourne as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex embarked on their meet-the-people walk through the city first up this morning.
Excited Victorians chanted Harry and Meghan’s names as they hugged, accepted gifts and shook hands with thousands of delighted fans lined up along Government House Drive.
India Brown, 19, was lucky enough to get a hug from the Prince and got so overwhelmed she immediately broke down in tears:
“Prince Harry just hugged me,” India told 7 News, still emotional.
“I’ve loved that family since I was 8 and I followed them around the world.
“I did not expect it to happen because it’s actually against protocol but it was just phenomenal.
“He reciprocated the hug as well. It was not just a little (hug), it was a proper squeeze.”
Edwina Bartholomew told India, “Dreams come true” before she replied, “It was awesome.”
Prince Harry stopped to question a fan about the “suspect” crown she was wearing.
Greeting the crowd, many of whom had waited up to five hours for the chance to meet him, he asked a woman where she got her crown from.
“Over there, the TV crew,” she told him.
Harry jokingly replied: “The TV crew was giving them out? Very suspect.”
Next in line he shook the hand of Janice Parke, who told news.com.au she was over the moon to have met both Harry and Meghan.
She said she had rehearsed what she was going to tell Harry in the mirror but got flustered when he reached for her hand.
“I was going to tell him that his mother would be so proud. I said to him ‘welcome to Melbourne, Harry’.”
Ms Parke said Meghan was “absolutely beautiful” in the flesh, noting the freckles on the bridge of her nose.
Little Sophie, 8, wowed Meghan with her handmade drawing of the Duke and Duchess.
“You’re so talented! Thank you so much!” she exclaimed, as she and husband Harry shook hands with Sophie and her sister Liana, 11.
The royal couple have another packed schedule, including a ride on one of the city’s iconic trams.
After jetting out of Sydney on Thursday morning, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped off the plane in Melbourne about 10.45am, more than six hours after royal watchers began taking their places.
Rain is following the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The prince was drenched during his time at Dubbo on Wednesday and showers are forecast for Melbourne on Thursday, but organisers have promised everything will go ahead as planned.
‘MY BOY’ HARRY
In yet another touching moment, elderly fan Mabel managed to give Meghan a handmade toy for the royal baby.
“I call Harry my boy,” she said.
“It was worth the wait. I would have waited all night.
“It’s hard to put into words. She is absolutely amazing.”
Mabel said: “Hi Megan. I am very pleased to meet you. I made something for you.”
The Duchess appeared visibly impressed as she collected the toy and said, “Oh my goodness, that’s so sweet”.
‘Absolutely worth the wait’. Gorgeous Mabel knitted a toy for Baby Duchess, which Meghan loved ❤ #HarryandMeghan— news.com.au (@newscomauHQ)
THE BUMP’S ON SHOW
Meghan’s dress choice today is slightly more figure hugging, giving everyone a glimpse at a slightly more visibly baby bump.
The Duchess has reused the beige Martin Grant ‘style 1’ trench coat that she sported in Sydney earlier this week (clever packing!) and also donned a navy dress by Aussie designer Dion Lee.
The ‘folded sail’ dress is a new collection piece from Lee, and will apparently be available for pre-order by the end of the day via its website.
Shoe wise she went with navy Manolo Blahnik BB pumps (77) … which are naturally now sold out. She accessorised with a gold cuff bracelet by British designer Shaun Lane and really went all out in the handbag stakes with the Gucci Sylvie leather mini chain bag (380).
WHO CARES ABOUT THE HEELS!
Meghan knows how to handball an Aussie footy, passing a Sherrin to girls from This Girl Can VIC.
The Duchess got a quick demonstration, heels and all, and didn’t hesitate to jump in for a go.
The program, which started in the UK and has been brought to Victoria by VicHealth, celebrates active women who come in all shapes, sizes and levels of ability.
The couple greeted by more than 150 women playing football, netball, cricket and a range of sports on the lawns of Government House.
It also included women doing yoga, boxing, cycling and Zumba, backed by a soundtrack from DJ Yo Mafia.
Harry had a long chat with two women playing AFL, but while he handled the Sherrin, he didn’t appear game to test out hishandball skills.
MAN QUESTIONED BY POLICE AHEAD OF ROYAL ARRIVAL
A man has been removed from the crowd of royal watchers waiting for Meghan and Harry to arrive at Melbourne’s Government House.
The man, aged in his 30s, co-operated with police when they confronted him behind barriers at the Royal Botanic Gardens, where the Duke and Duchess are due to arrive shortly after 11am.
Dressed in a dark red shirt and tan shorts, he was led away in handcuffs after being asked “what are you doing here?” by a female police officer.
News.com.au approached Victoria Police for comment. A spokeswoman said she did not have any information about why the man had been arrested at this time.
As with every stop on the royal tour, security is tight ahead of their arrival.
Dozens of police in hi-vis vests are patrolling the road, along with event staff and a separate security team.
Two choppers are flying overhead as Harry and Meghan make their way into the city from Melbourne Airport.
EXCITEMENT BUILDS FOR ROYALS’ ARRIVAL
On Government House Drive, an atmosphere of excitement is building, with over 3000 people hoping to catch a glimpse of the royals.
Fans refused to let the drizzly Melbourne weather ruin the opportunity to dress to impress the royals — including Toni, 24, from Richmond who arrived at 8am, decked out in a personalised “Harry and Meghan” T-shirt.
“This is my first royal tour, and I just love Meghan,” she told news.com.au.
“She’s the new Diana, the people’s princess. It’s so cool that she takes so much time to talk to people, and spend time with all the kids she meets on tour.”
Shelley McLean was 13 when she first met the royals.
It was in Melbourne’s Bourke St mall in 1983 and then-teenage Shelley became infatuated immediately.
She took photographs of Diana and Charles and gushed as the pair walked past.
Fast forward 34 years and she still has royal fever.
On Thursday, as Prince Harry and Meghan prepared to greet adoring fans in Melbourne, Shelley was at it again.
She was holding a sign that reads “Harry I wagged school in 1983 to meet your parents” but in her pockets is where the real gold lies.
She has photographs of her teenage self at the mall that day and a close up on her first run-in with royalty.
She also has a gift for Harry and Meghan — a toy koala.
“I’m a crazed royal fan,” she told news.com.au.
“My daughter got to meet the Queen when she came to Federation Square, so it’s a bit of a tradition.”
Shelley said she was awake until 2am making her consume because that’s when she does her best work.
And she’ll cry if she doesn’t get to say hello to the Duke and Duchess.
“I’m literally going to be crying. I’ll be beside myself.”
Gavin, 6, loves Prince Harry and Meghan so much he begged his mum to let him stay home from school to meet them.
Once given the green light, he stayed up making a gold-painted dinosaur pasta necklace for “Princess Meghan”, and laid out his favourite outfit (it’s a pilot uniform, and seemed fitting.)
His mum Rowan told news.com.au that he and little sister Vivian, 2, are obsessed with the royals.
“They woke up so early, they’re so excited!” she said. “They can’t wait until they have a royal baby.”
Meanwhile, young royal fan Ruby isn’t so fussed about meeting Harry and Meghan, she just wants to see them.
As crowds pushed and shoved their way closer to the barricades along Government House Drive, Ruby took up her position on the branches of a tree.
She doesn’t know what she’ll say to the happy couple if she gets to meet them.
“I’ll just wave at them,” she said.
More than 3000 people have gathered along the side of the road waiting for their chance to meet royalty.
Harry and Meghan are expected to arrive shortly after 11am.
— Bronte Coy and Rohan Smith
KITTY SPENCER ARRIVES IN AUSTRALIA
Lady Kitty Spencer, niece to Princess Diana and cousin of Prince Harry, has landed in Australia.
The 27-year-old fashion model was snapped at Perth airport wearing dark-tinted sunglasses, and rocking a casual plain grey tee underneath a green military jacket, with blue jeans.
Kitty is in Australia to help support the Channel 7 Perth Telethon from October 20.
The socialite flew in from Dubai, where she spent a glamorous working holiday helping to launch Italian luxury brand Bvlgari’s new Fiorever jewellery collection.
ROYAL COUPLE HEADS TO MELBOURNE
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have just been snapped boarding a RAAF plane from Sydney Airport to Melbourne.
The Duchess looked more dressed up and glamorous today, with her hair out, a navy blue fitted midi dress and black stilettos.
Prince Harry matched her with a navy suit and crisp white button-up shirt.
It’s a noted contrast from the more relaxed outfits the pair sported in Dubbo yesterday.
Yesterday Meghan wore an untucked white Maison Kitsune shirt over a loose grey Serena Williams Collection jacket, denim jeans by Australian brand Outland Denim, and her hair tied in a ponytail.
Harry wore a blue denim button-up shirt loosely tucked into black pants — and both the royals had their Akubra hats at the ready.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expected to touch down in Melbourne later this morning, where they will visit local cafes and primary schools, take part in a beach clean and — of course — a meet-the-people walk.
This marks the third day of their official Down Under tour — the pair’s first overseas trip as a married couple. Meghan and Harry spent the day touring Sydney on Tuesday before flying out to the town of Dubbo yesterday.
The wet weather looks set to follow the pair from Dubbo to Melbourne. The city woke to light showers today and there is a 50-50 chance of rain continuing throughout the day.
Hoping to catch a glimpse of the royal pair? Their first appearance will be a walkabout to meet members of the public at Government House Drive.
This will be followed by a reception at Government House, a local primary school visit, and an iconic Melbourne tram ride to South Melbourne beach.
With thousands expected to rock up, we only have one piece of advice for you: Arrive early.
KARL BLASTS PIERS IN FURIOUS RANT
Meghan Markle has received an outpouring of support after Piers Morgan accused her of being fake.
This morning Today host Karl Stefanovic called for the former tabloid editor to be axed over his remarks.
“I think it’s disgraceful,” he said. “I think she is an amazing woman, and she’s doing her very best at the moment. She’s got a lot on her plate.
“What is that guy on? He’s lost the plot completely. Imagine just for a second, putting up with a dude like that who’s so up himself and so egotistical, that he feels he can say those things about her. It’s disgusting. You would not put up with it.
“He needs to go. He’s off the mark here. I’m on Meghan’s side.”
“I am very much on the side of Meghan Markle, I think she’s a beautiful, wonderful woman,” added Georgie Gardner. “They look very truly in love, I don’t think there’s any acting there.”
Morgan hit back on Twitter, telling Karl to “pipe down”.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan)
In a scathing live-to-air rant on UK television overnight, Morgan said: “She is an actress. She’s acting great at the moment.”
Not long afterwards, he tweeted a picture of her looking at Prince Harry with the caption: “Once an actress …’
😂😂😂 Once an actress… pic.twitter.com/lSMEdIZOs5— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan)
But social media users aren’t having a bar of it:
Piers sees the true love, happiness, support and equality between Megan and Harry which is why he continues to malign it. He’s knows they are the real deal otherwise he’d ignore them. Piers thought he’d be able to break Meghan but she’s STILL shining bright living her best life.— Erikk_the_Dane™ (@Erikk_the_Dane2)
So it’s pissing down she shares her umbrella and now she’s getting grief ? What’s wrong with people— Chad Swales (@Cswales23)
All this because you didn’t get an invitation.— Donaleya (@Donaleya1)
All in all, we’d wager Morgan has come out of this looking far worse than the Duchess has.