Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are spearheading a charm offensive by the British royal family in Australia — and the country can’t get enough of them.
Australia loves Prince Harry and Meghan, but is it time for a republic?
Thousands flocked to meet the newly married Duke and Duchess of Sussex when they touched down in Sydney on October 16 for a two-week tour.
Cementing Australia’s special place in the Commonwealth, the couple announced they were expecting their first child, who will be seventh in line to the throne, just as the trip began.
In Sydney, a 98-year-old woman waited in a rope line to meet Harry for the third time. When the prince greeted her like an old friend, she said Meghan was “just what Harry needs.”
During a visit to the city of Dubbo in the drought-stricken state of New South Wales, groups of school children held signs saying “Dubbo (loves) Harry & Meghan.” In a made-for-camera moment, a five-year-old boy broke ranks to run forward and hug Harry.
But the monarchy could be fighting an uphill battle to win the hearts and minds of the Australian people. The latest polls show increasing support for an Australian republic and the push is on again to make a final break from the UK.
“The current institution is one which privileges England over other national origins (and) inheritance over hard work … An Australian republic is a positive, democratic and inclusive patriotic step,” Michael Cooney, national director of the Australian Republic Movement