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Farewell Sydney walkabout for Harry

Published 06/05/2015

Prince Harry will go on a walkabout at Sydney Opera House before leaving Australia
Prince Harry will go on a walkabout at Sydney Opera House before leaving Australia

Prince Harry will bid farewell to the people of Australia when he goes on a walkabout in the shadow of the famous Sydney Opera House tomorrow.

Hundreds of people are expected to turn out to see Harry, who has come to the end of a month-long attachment with the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

During the day, the Prince will also meet Lieutenant Ali Spearing, a Royal Engineers Officer who lost both legs in Afghanistan in 2011 and is undergoing groundbreaking treatment in Australia to fit prosthetic limbs.

While Harry has been away, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's daughter, Princess Charlotte, was born on May 2.

Harry, who moved down to fifth in line to the throne following the baby's arrival, described his brother's daughter as "absolutely beautiful'' and said he could not wait to meet her.

While in Australia, Harry - an Army captain who is leaving the forces in June - has spent time training on helicopter simulators at barracks in Sydney, trained with the Special Air Service in Perth, and in Darwin he worked with members of Norforce, the mostly indigenous unit which patrols northern Australia.

Harry's previous experience serving with Australian troops was during his time in Afghanistan, and on a charity trek to the South Pole.

Before he meets the crowds gathered near Sydney Opera House, the Prince will take part in a military exercise in Sydney Harbour.

He will travel to Macquarie University Hospital in New South Wales to meet Lt Spearing, a 31-year-old British soldier who lost both of his legs above the knee in an IED explosion.

The officer has travelled across the world to a clinic at the hospital to receive pioneering treatment from Associate Professor Munjed Al Muderis, a leading orthopaedic hip and knee surgeon and osseointegration specialist - where an implant is inserted into an amputee's limb.

Lt Spearing has had implants inserted into his limbs and, once these had integrated with the bone, robotic legs were fitted via the implants and he is now undergoing daily physiotherapy.

Macquarie University Hospital chief executive officer Carol Bryant said the team was thrilled by the royal visit.

She added: "We're very proud of the groundbreaking work being carried by Associate Professor Al Muderis. Our approach to treatment is to combine the best available knowledge and expertise to ensure patients like Lt Spearing receive the best possible treatment, compassion, support and care."

On Saturday Harry will begin an eight-day tour of New Zealand.

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