SYDNEY – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, received on Tuesday the first gifts for their future baby in Australia, a day after it was announced that they are expecting their first child in the spring of 2019.
“Our first baby gift!” Duchess Meghan exclaimed when she received a toy Kangaroo with a joey and trademark Australian sheepskin boots for the baby, according to video published by Australian national broadcaster ABC.
The presents were given by the Governor General of Australia Peter Cosgrove – the representative of Queen Elizabeth II in the country – and his wife during the first official act of the royal couple’s tour of Oceania, which includes stops in Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand later this month.
The governor’s reception was also Harry and Meghan’s first official appearance since it was announced on Monday that they were expecting the eighth grandchild of the 92-year-old Queen.
Cosgrove also gifted a couple of Akubra hats – typical of rural Australia – to the Duke and Duchess.
A number of social media users commented on Harry’s happy expression while receiving the tiny Ugg boots, made of sheepskin.
The Duchess, dressed in white, showed an emerging baby bump, and according to media was wearing butterfly earrings which belonged to late Princess Diana.
The royal couple also visited Taronga zoo in northern Sydney, where they met two baby koalas named after them after their wedding in May, and inaugurated a new research and training center for conservation.
Later, Harry and Meghan left for Sydney Opera House in a cavalcade to witness rehearsals by the Aboriginal dance company Bangarra Dance Theatre.
Hundreds of admirers gathered outside the Opera House to see the visiting royal couple amid tight security.
The Prince received a hug from Daphne Dune, a 98-year-old widow of a war veteran, who he had met in 2015 and 2017 during his earlier Australia visits.
Television footage showed the Prince talking with the elderly woman, sitting in a wheel-hair, before introducing her to his wife.
During their Australia visit, the couple will participate in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Invictus Games, held from Oct. 20-28 and established by Harry in 2014 to give veterans and injured or disabled military personnel a chance to compete in sports.
The royal visit comes at a time when a poll showed that 52.4 percent of the 1,000 Australians surveyed wanted Australia to become a republic, with the figure rising to 58.6 percent among Australians between 25 and 34 years of age.