Meghan Markle vs Queen in Australia tour: Who was more popular in Australia?
MEGHAN Markle and Prince Harry have returned to Sydney as they near the end of their first major overseas tour, more than 60 years after the Queen touched down in Australia with Prince Philip – but how do the two royal visits compare?
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry spent Saturday watching the final day of the Invictus Games and its closing ceremony as they finish the second leg of their Australia trip.
The couple have proved a massive hit down under with large crowds everywhere they go.
One of the most touching moments was when the couple both received huge bear hugs from five-year-old Luke Vincent in Dubbo last week.
But despite their huge popularity, Harry and Meghan’s visit pales in comparison to the sheer scale of the Queen’s trip with Prince Philip in 1954.
As the newly-crowned monarch, the Queen spent an impressive 58 days touring all of the Australian states apart from the Northern Territory.
An estimated 75 percent of the nine million population was said to have seen the Queen in person.
But does that mean the Queen was more popular than Meghan?
Richard Fitzwilliams, royal expert, believes the Queen’s “mammoth” visit may have been in a different league but this does not correlate to popularity.
He told Express.co.uk: “The era was different, the circumstances were different, the Queen had a million people in Sydney.
“I do not think there is any comparison at all.”
But he indicated that the 1950s was a “very different age” and the visit of reigning monarch remains unprecedented, hence the massive numbers who turned out to get a glimpse of their monarch.
He said: “The period was not only an era of deference but an era when Britain had different status in the world but also a time when you had a newly-crowned Queen and ties to Britain were tremendously strong.”
Meghan, 37, whose pregnancy was announced as she and Harry arrived in Sydney on October 15, has been praised for her and Harry’s modern, tactile approach so far.
Mr Fitzwiliam called “the way they interact with people” a highlight.
He said: “There seems to be a tremendous amount of enthusiasm towards them and they way they communicate with young people and children is enchanting to see.”
He added: “What they are projecting is a representation of a monarchy who have meaning particularly for young people and particularly for dealing with issues.
“For Meghan, it is female empowerment and diversity, with Harry of course there has been a lot about conservation”.
A central reason for visiting Australia now was for Prince Harry to attend the Invictus Games – the inclusive, multi-sport event he founded.
Both he and Meghan have used their global platforms to raise awareness about causes close to their hearts.
In Fiji, the duchess pressed the importance of educating girls during a speech to students at the University of south Pacific.
And Harry accepted an award of behalf of the Queen in Sydney for her “outstanding contribution” to raising the plight of the world’s forests.
Mr Fitzwilliam said it was the couple’s compassion and campaigning that “will revitalise the monarchy” for Commonwealth countries such as Australia.
He said: “Meghan has been able to promote female empowerment and diversity, while she and Harry both project youth.
“This is very significant when you are talking about the monarch because Republicans always have an idea that it is the elderly and those who have ties with Britain one way or another who are pro-monarchy but in fact it is very different.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK