Prince Harry, Meghan land in Australia for Oceania tour

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Canberra: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrived in Sydney on Monday to begin an official visit to Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.

It is the couple’s first official royal tour since getting married in May, the BBC reported.

The 16-day trip coincides with the fourth Invictus Games, beginning in Sydney on Saturday, and includes dozens of official events.

Harry and Meghan were met by a large media contingent at the airport before heading to Admiralty House, the Sydney Harbour residence of Governor-General Peter Cosgrove — who is the representative of Queen Elizabeth II.

The royal couple’s arrival coincided with the day a survey revealed that Australians want their country to become a republic.

Harry, the son of Prince Charles and late Princess Diana, and his wife, who took a commercial flight were seen holding hands as they walked through a back door before boarding a vehicle to Cosgrove’s residence.

Harry and his wife, who was wearing black trousers and a dark coat with maroon lapels, were scheduled to rest on the first day before starting the 76 activities on the agenda from Tuesday to promote environmental and conservation issues.

On October 16, Cosgrove who is Australia’s Head of State, will give the couple an official welcome before their visit to Taronga Zoo and Sydney Opera House.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex would also attend the inauguration and closing ceremonies of the Invictus Games, which would be held from October 20 to 28.

The event was founded by Harry in 2014 to give opportunities to disabled veterans and military services personnel, Efe news reported.

On Monday, 52.4 per cent of the 1,000 respondents to a poll conducted by the Australian Republican Movement, said they wanted Australia to become a republic — the favourite response of 58.6 per cent of responders between 25 and 34 years of age.

Harry, 33, and Meghan, 37, have been invited by the governments of Australia and New Zealand, members of the Commonwealth.

The couple would travel to Fiji and Tonga at the request of the British Foreign Office, on a tour that would end on October 31.

(Agencies)

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