SYDNEY – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex took separate boats on Monday to Fraser Island in Queensland, as their tour of Australia and the South Pacific continued on a reduced schedule for the pregnant duchess.
Prince Harry took a barge for the 43 miles (70 kilometers) crossing of the Australian continent to the island, while the former American actress Meghan was traveling on a much more comfortable cruise.
Meghan is about four months pregnant and her schedule was reduced after a hectic start to the 16-day tour.
The duchess rested during the first part of the day, while Harry made several commitments focused on environmental problems. Meghan loved the spectators when going out for a walk with her husband by the water.
Harry and Meghan landed mid-morning in Hervey Bay, 745 miles (1200 km) north of Sydney, on a plane of the Royal Australian Air Force. The couple went down the stairs hand in hand, before going their separate ways: Harry got on a bus and Meghan got on a car.
After the boat crossings, Harry had scheduled a series of engagements on the largest sand island in the world, known as K? Or Gari, or "Paradise," in the local indigenous language, on the seventh day of his tour of Australia.
After participating in a traditional "Welcome to the Country" smoking ceremony with representatives of the indigenous peoples of Butchulla, Harry discovered a plaque dedicating the pristine rainforests of the popular holiday island to Queen Elizabeth's Commonwealth Canopy project.
Harry's itinerary also referred to the history of logging on Fraser Island, whose famous hardwood trees were used to build the London docks in the 1930s.
After their afternoon walk, the royal couple met with locals, including the Hervey Bay paramedics, Graeme Cooper and Danielle Kellam.
Paramedics made headlines last year after a photo of them bestowing a dying woman's desire to see the ocean at Hervey Bay for the last time went viral and captured hearts around the world.
Harry and Meghan will leave Australia for Fiji and Tonga on Tuesday. They will return to Sydney on Friday night for the final days of the Invictus Games, the creation of Harry and the focus of his tour, before ending with a visit to New Zealand.
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