Meghan & Harry’s mag­i­cal tour

Bri­tain’s coolest roy­als de­lighted the pub­lic on a whirl­wind tour of their duke­dom – and Aus­tralia’s next!

YOU (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - COM­PILED BY KIRSTIN BUICK (Turn over)

THEY came, they saw, they smiled, they con­quered – and if this was a sign of what’s to come as they get stuck into the nitty-gritty of royal duty, it will be magic all the way. Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sus­sex, charmed every­one from young to old when they em­barked on their first of­fi­cial joint visit of their duke­dom, ex­ud­ing love and warmth as they seemed un­able to keep their eyes – or their hands – off each other.

The cou­ple also opened their hearts to the ador­ing pub­lic, get­ting up close and per­sonal with the clam­our­ing crowds on their whirl­wind meet-and-greet through Chich­ester, Bog­nor Regis, Brighton and Peace­haven – the main towns in the county of Sus­sex.

The flame-haired prince was ev­ery inch the son of the Peo­ple’s Princess on the day, shak­ing ev­ery hand he could find and even gal­lantly kiss­ing the hand of an el­derly woman.

And Meghan? Well, she daz­zled, flash­ing her megawatt smile, lis­ten­ing in­tently when spo­ken to and chat­ting away as if to the royal man­ner born.

“She was so re­laxed and friendly and Harry seemed quite chilled,” Chich­ester stu­dent Kieran Mc­Nair said af­ter meet­ing them. “They were won­der­ful.”

The mini-tour was yet an­other ex­am­ple of how Harry (34) and Meghan (37) are breath­ing new life into the monar­chy – and a sign they’re more than up for their first mega-test: a de­mand­ing two-week, 76-en­gage­ment tour of Aus­tralia, Fiji, New Zealand and the King­dom of Tonga, which kicks off on 16 Oc­to­ber.

The trip Down Un­der will cul­mi­nate in their ap­pear­ance at Harry’s pas­sion project, the In­vic­tus Games, a mul­ti­sport event fea­tur­ing men and women who have been wounded while serv­ing in the armed ser­vices. This year it takes place in Sydney, Aus­tralia.

The 2017 games was one of the first times Harry and Meghan ap­peared in pub­lic to­gether, send­ing the world into a frenzy. This time they’ll be there as hus­band and wife – and one of the most fa­mous cou­ples in the world.

Those in the know say Meghan is a lit­tle ap­pre­hen­sive about the up­com­ing tour.

“This is her first tour and it’s all new and quite daunt­ing,” a palace aide told Hello! magazine.

But the pow­ers that be seem con­fi­dent the duchess will do just fine, and have sched­uled a few en­gage­ments for her to at­tend without Harry at her side.

“She’s a con­fi­dent speaker,” the aide says. “It’s only nat­u­ral at some of the events she’s do­ing by her­self that she’d want to speak.”

The tour is go­ing to be Meghan’s chance to shine, royal bi­og­ra­pher In­grid Se­ward told Us Weekly magazine.

“She knows she’ll be cen­tre stage and every­one is go­ing to want to meet her. It will be her big­gest part yet. I’m ab­so­lutely con­fi­dent she’ll be very, very good.”

WHEN the mad­ness of the first tour is over, Meghan and Harry will fi­nally have a new place in which to kick back for much-needed down­time. Un­til now the cou­ple and their two dogs – Guy, Meghan’s bea­gle from the US, and Oz, their new Labrador – have been liv­ing in Harry’s for­mer bach­e­lor pad, Not­ting­ham Cot­tage on the Kens­ing­ton Palace grounds in Lon­don.

But they’ll have a lot more space to spread out in now the ren­o­va­tions have been com­pleted on Apart­ment 1 on the west side of the palace prop­erty.

The scaf­fold­ing and white tar­pau­lin that have ob­scured the build­ing for sev­eral months have been re­moved and the Sus­sexes and their pooches are be­lieved to be mov­ing in soon.

The £1,4 mil­lion (R27,3 mil­lion) re­fur­bish­ment in­cluded re­pairs to the roof and saw the win­dows re­placed, ac­cord­ing to Bri­tain’s Daily Mail.

The move means Harry and Meghan will be right next door to Prince Wil­liam, Kate, Duchess of Cam­bridge (both 36), and their three tots, Prince George (5), Princess Char­lotte (3) and Prince Louis (5 months). The cou­ples won’t even have to ven­ture out­side if they fancy pop­ping over for a cuppa as their apart­ments have an in­ter­con­nect­ing door. The apart­ment was pre­vi­ously home to the queen’s cousin Prince Richard, Duke of Glouces­ter (74), and his wife, Bir­gitte (72), whose three chil­dren are now adults – so when they of­fered to va­cate Apart­ment 1 in favour of some­thing smaller, Harry was thrilled, sources say.

The grand build­ing is cer­tainly big­ger than the two-bed­room cot­tage Harry and Meghan are used to. With the manor’s 21 rooms, they’ll have plenty of space to fill.

WHAT THEIR BODY LAN­GUAGE SAYS

Wil­liam and Kate have had the odd pub­lic dis­play of af­fec­tion – a hand hold here, a lit­tle back rub there. But Harry and Meghan have taken things to the next level and all in­di­ca­tions are these tosigh-for mo­ments are fast be­com­ing the new norm.

Well, they’re new­ly­weds af­ter all – and, their in­fat­u­a­tion with each other is 100% gen­uine, ac­cord­ing to South African body lan­guage ex­pert Denise Bjork­man.

“This was their pri­vate world made pub­lic,” she tells YOU soon af­ter the Sus­sex tour. “Touches be­tween the two were fre­quent, spon­ta­neous and even se­cre­tive – an in­di­ca­tion of a happy bond be­tween them.”

Even the way they walked – side by side, in step with each other– shows their con­nec­tion. “They’re men­tally and

emo­tion­ally in sync,” Bjork­man adds.

“The free­dom to touch so freely in pub­lic is a break from tra­di­tion in the royal fam­ily. They’re clearly carv­ing out their own rules.”

It’s ob­vi­ous Harry was in his el­e­ment dur­ing their whis­tle-stop tour, Bjork­man says. “He’s com­fort­able with crowds, work­ing at a va­ri­ety of lev­els and at ease with ev­ery­day con­ver­sa­tions.

“This he no doubt learnt from his mother, Princess Diana, who of­ten took her two chil­dren with her to meet-and­greets, par­tic­u­larly when it in­volved spend­ing time with those less for­tu­nate,” she adds.

“Diana touched fre­quently, re­mained within the con­fined space of the peo­ple she met, em­braced and sat with them to be on an equal level.”

Harry’s be­hav­iour is re­mark­ably sim­i­lar. “He bends down to their level so he can make eye con­tact. High fives fol­low and he gets into se­ri­ous con­ver­sa­tion, asks dif­fi­cult ques­tions and gives fa­therly ad­vice.”

It’s dis­plays like this that in­di­cate Harry is def­i­nitely ready to be a dad, she adds.

De­spite her Hol­ly­wood pol­ish and ob­vi­ous charm, for­mer Suits star Meghan didn’t quite match her hus­band in the ease with which he con­nected with the by­standers.

“Meghan is sweet and warm in her com­mu­ni­ca­tion style. Her fa­cial mus­cles are re­laxed and mo­bile when nec­es­sary, send­ing mes­sages of au­then­tic­ity,” Bjork­man says. “But she lacks Harry’s ease.”

Still, as the day wore on, Meghan be­came in­creas­ingly sure of her­self.

“She started with small steps next to Harry’s longer strides and as the tour pro­gressed her stride in­creased to­gether with her sense of com­fort.”

And with the Down Un­der tour com­ing up there will be plenty of op­por­tu­nity to build on that con­fi­dence.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.