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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 17 November 2018

Harry and Meghan Markle Down Under: Kangaroo on the menu for royal couple

Thousands of screaming fans throng streets of Melbourne to greet Duke and Duchess of Sussex

Chargrilled kangaroo was on the royal menu Thursday as Prince Harry and his pregnant wife Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, arrived in Australia's second-largest city Melbourne, where they were greeted by thousands of screaming fans.

Clutching flowers and waving flags, the crowds turned out to welcome the pair, who were delayed in traffic after flying in from Sydney on the third day of their tour Down Under.

The pair will only spend a few hours in Melbourne, but had a jam-packed schedule that included a meal featuring native Australian foods and a trip to a beach.

"I love everything they stand for. As a human being you have so much to look up to with them," one young fan who had been waiting before dawn told national broadcaster ABC as the pair mingled with the crowd.

A teenage girl cried tears of joy and threw her arms around the prince as she clutched a hand-written banner with the words: "Been here since 4am. Loved you since I was eight."

"You're gonna get me in trouble," Harry joked as he embraced her.

Meghan was inundated by bouquets of flowers and baby gifts following their announcement on Monday that Meghan was expecting their first child.

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The US-born royal also put on a dinosaur pasta necklace made by a five-year-old boy, who was wearing his favourite pilot uniform outfit, for the rest of her walk.

"I made it with pasta and dipped them in gold paint and threaded the string through," he told news.com.au.

The Duchess was wearing a tan trench-coat, believed to be by Paris-based Australian designer Martin Grant, a navy dress by the breakthrough star of local fashion Dion Lee, and holding a Gucci Sylvie clutch.

The royal couple mostly mingled with the crowd separately, but when they were together, they held hands and the Duchess periodically stroked Harry's back.

After the public meet-and-greet, the couple spent some time with the Victorian Governor Linda Dessau in an official reception at Government House, where the Duchess of Sussex stole the hearts of local sports fans by getting to grips with Aussie Rules football.

They then headed to a restaurant that mentors indigenous chefs with chargrilled kangaroo and wild boar on the menu, according to broadcaster Channel Nine. They will visit a school before finishing up at South Melbourne beach.

The couple will also follow in the footsteps of Harry's grandmother Queen Elizabeth during her 2011 visit by taking a tram ride in Melbourne.

They are due to return to Sydney later this week for the opening of the global sports championship the Invictus Games, which was set up by Harry for wounded military personnel after his decade of service in the army.

The couple's more-than-two-week official visit will take in multiple stops in Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.