Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Royal tour LIVE: Harry cuts a lonely figure as Meghan rests
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are heading to the picturesque Fraser Island this afternoon on the seventh day of their landmark 16-day tour of Oceania, and they are expected to stay in the award-winning Kingfisher Bay Resort – which will be perfect for the pregnant Duchess who has been left worn out following a week of engagements.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have a variety engagements to attend and will be met upon their arrival by the Traditional Owners of K’gari, the Butchulla people and the Premier of Queensland.
Their Royal Highnesses will also take part in a traditional Welcome to Country smoking ceremony and unveil a plaque for the dedication of the Forests of K’gari to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy.
Fraser Island’s rainforest is home to the satinay trees which, known for their hardiness in water, were used to build the London docks in the 1930s.
It has been reported the Duchess will not take part in all of her official duties during the day, but will instead will rest in the fancy resort which boasts quiet beaches, secluded villas and a fancy health spa.
Kensington Palace said in a statement: “After a busy programme, the Duke and Duchess have decided to cut back the Duchess’s schedule slightly for the next couple of days, ahead of the final week-and-a-half of the tour.
“The Duke will continue with the engagements on Fraser Island as planned.”
It is believed Meghan has not been suffering from morning sickness, but she has been left worn out following a series of back-to-back official events around Australia this past week.
Harry has taken part in a cleansing ceremony at Lake McKenzie, as the Duke stepped out on his own while pregnant Meghan rests.
The Prince was led on to the sand by Aunty Nai Nai Bird, an elder of the Butchulla people.
Harry took off his shoe as Aunty Nai Nai summoned her ancestors on the winds to ask for their blessing to bring Harry on to traditional lands.
She then took Harry to the lake where a tree branch was used to brush his legs and feet.
8.55am update: Meghan is not sick, royal aide says
Meghan is not sick, a royal aide has said, after the Duchess pulled out of a number of engagements on the royal tour.
The royal aide said: “She isn’t sick, she just had a tiring few days and we were concerned about the roads on the island which are incredibly bumpy and uncomfortable for anyone, let alone a pregnant woman.
“But the duchess was very keen to re-join the duke at the last engagement of the day to greet the people of the island.”
It comes as Harry and Meghan were given gifts including flowers and bears as the Duchess joined the Prince for a walkabout on Fraser Island.
One well-wisher held up a sign which read “Rangas rule”, an Australian slang reference to the Prince’s ginger hair.
Jada Quinn, nine, said: “My dad is a ranga and I’m a little bit a ranga and he appreciated the sign.”
06.40am update: Meghan spotted cradling her baby bump
Meghan rejoined Prince Harry for a walkabout on Fraser Island and heartwarming pictures emerged of her cradling her baby bump.
According to reports, Prince Harry insisted his wife should rest as he revealed pregnancy takes its “toll” on the Duchess.
The Royal couple’s first major tour together comes just after Meghan’s pregnancy was announced last week, with Kensington Palace confirming the Duchess is expecting a baby in the spring of 2019.
05.45am update: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle reunited
Meghan Markle is now back with her husband Prince Harry as the couple greet the numerous well wishers on Kingfish Bay.
The Duchess is wearing a long maroon dress.
It is believed this is the only Royal outing she will take part in today.
05.00am update: Prince Harry greeted by Butchulla people
The 34-year old was greeted by the Butchulla People and took part in a traditional Welcome to Country smoking ceremony on Fraser Island.
After the ceremony, he unveiled a plaque dedicating the forests to the Queen’s commonwealth canopy.
Prince Harry said in a speech: “Today we are here to dedicate this island to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy, an initiative established in honour of my grandmother, the Queen’s lifetime of service to the Commonwealth.
“This is actually the second time this plaque has been unveiled which I know is highly unusual.
“The first time was by my father the Prince of Wales in Bundaberg earlier this year when he was visiting.
“I now have the privilege of unveiling it in situ.
“I know that my father came to K’Gari in 1994 for a day off during a royal tour so he has an appreciation of the importance of this place.”
He added as a joke: “Luckily we are both highly skilled when it comes to unveiling plaques… It runs in the family.”
04.30am update: Harry arrives on the beach for first Royal engagement
Prince Harry has arrived on the beach where he will receive a traditional Welcome to Country Smoking Ceremony from the Butchulla people.
The Duke of Sussex was pictured walking barefoot on the sand.
03.57am update: Meghan touches down on Fraser Island
Meghan has arrived on Fraser Island and she is now heading to the fancy Kingfisher Bay Resort where the couple will stay tonight.
Prince Charles may have suggested the location to the newlyweds as he stayed in the same resort 24 years ago.
03.26am update: Queensland premiere to give gift to Harry for Royal baby
The Queensland premier will give the Duke and Duchess of Sussex a very special gift for his future child – a teddy bear from the state’s sheep country.
Tambo Teddies helped bring the town of Tambo, home to just 345 people, back from a financial crisis during the drought.
The Duke and Duchess will be gifted a cream-coloured bear with a green bow tie.
02.32am update: Prince Harry is heading to Pile Valley for today’s first engagement
Prince Harry and Meghan arrived at Hervey Bay around an hour ago in an Aussie RAF jet.
The couple left the airport in separate cars as the Duchess is expected to spend the day resting in a resort on Fraser Island.
02.00am update: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have arrived on Harvey Bay!
Meghan and Harry have just arrived at Harvey Bay.
The Duchess of Sussex stopped to say hello to well-wishers and she is now expected to board the Tasman adventure, a local whale watching operating boat that will bring her to the island.
The Duke is taking a different boat as he needs to take a quicker route.
01.13am update: Royal fans are eagerly waiting for Meghan and Harry’s arrival
Hundreds of Royal fans have arrived early at the River Heads Wharf barge stop, hoping to catch a glimpse of the the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Suzanne Denton, from River Heads, has been at the stop since 6.30am.
Ms Denton said she hopes to get a picture with Prince Harry.
She added:“I’ve followed Harry all of his life.”
12.49am update: Meghan and Harry flying to Fraser Island
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are currently flying to Fraser Island.
A video shows the couple boarding the plane – Meghan is wearing a loose purple dress while Harry a navy blue shirt and a pair of camel chino.
12.24am update: Prince Harry’s itinerary
Prince Harry is expected to received a traditional Welcome to Country Smoking Ceremony from the Butchulla people before a plaque is unveiled to dedicate the popular holiday spot’s pristine rainforests to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy project.
He will also visit Lake McKenzie before meeting rangers from the national park to learn about the picturesque island’s unique animal and plant life.
Fraser Island’s hardwood trees were used to build the London docks in the 1930s due to their famed hardiness in water.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will also hand the newly pregnant couple a hand-made teddy bear from Tambo.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK