SYDNEY – Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle arrived in Sydney on Monday, a day before officially starting a 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.
The trip is his only international tour since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex married in May, apart from a two-day visit to Ireland.
The prince and the former American actress landed on a cloudy morning after a commercial flight from London with a brief stop in Singapore.
They have 76 commitments scheduled for 16 days in Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand. In Australia, they will caress a koala at a Sydney zoo, visit Dubbo and meet indigenous leaders on Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world, in the state of Queensland.
Harry and Meghan were taken from the airport to Admiralty House, the official residence of Governor General Peter Cosgrove in Sydney, which represents the head of state of Australia, Queen Elizabeth II, Harry's grandmother. The couple had no official duties on Monday after a 22-hour flight.
Hundreds of supporters gathered with umbrellas outside the airport and Admiralty House in hopes of catching a glimpse of the couple. The crowd applauded as the couple waved through the doors of the port side mansion.
The tour coincides with the Invictus Games in Sydney that begin on Saturday. The sporting event founded by Harry in 2014 gives military personnel and wounded and injured veterans the opportunity to compete in sports such as wheelchair basketball.
The couple will attend the games launch and closing ceremonies.
Harry and Meghan said during a television interview in November that they wanted to promote humanitarian causes close to their hearts in Commonwealth member countries, including Australia.
The visit comes six months after Harry's father, Prince Charles, made his 16th official visit to Australia, mainly to open the 21st Commonwealth Games in the city of Gold Coast in Queensland.
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