Meghan does a handball during Aussie Rules session in Melbourne
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited the Royal Botanic Gardens, had a cafe lunch and met local schoolchildren.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were treated to a set menu of Melbourne life during their visit to the city as Meghan played Aussie Rules, before she and Harry rode on a tram and took in the beach.
The couple were met with a rapturous reception at the Royal Botanic Gardens, before they visited a community cafe for lunch and dropped in on a primary school.
They are on a 16-day tour which will see them also visit New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga, as well as catching the Invictus Games.
Australian Rules – or footy – is huge in Victoria and Meghan appeared to be bitten by the bug as the couple watched displays from Victoria’s This Girl Can empowerment campaign.
After some gentle persuasion, the duchess took the ball and laughed nervously as she gingerly threw it to one of the women, adding: “I’m not sure I did it right!”
Jerril Rechter, chief executive of VicHealth, who showed Meghan around the event, said: “She did pass an AFL football. She did a handball. That’s a pretty incredible thing for anybody to do.
“She had not seen an AFL football before Howard, the governor’s husband, explained to her what it was like – the weight of it is a little bit different, and that you handball it, you don’t pass it.”
The AFL seemed impressed with her efforts, tweeting: “The trade period might be over, but next week’s NAB #AFLWDraft remains an option for the Duchess of Sussex.”
If the colours are anything to go by, we know who Meghan's preferred club is. 😊 #MeghantoMelbourne— Melbourne FC (@melbournefc) October 18, 2018
Discussion about the future baby was fairly limited during engagements in Sydney and Dubbo, but youngsters who accompanied the duke and duchess on a tram in Melbourne were able to ask more probing questions.
Charlie Wolf, a 12-year-old pupil from Middle Park primary school, asked if the couple had any names for their baby.
The children said Meghan replied: “We’ve been given a long list of names from everyone, we’re going to sit down and have a look at them.”
Ella Burns, also 12, from Albert Park primary school, said: “She said that she hadn’t thought of one as it was still quite early.”
The baby was also at the forefront of the minds of people who had queued up from as early as 5am to catch sight of the couple at the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Harry and Meghan, who was wearing a navy blue dress by Australian brand Dion Lee with a camel-coloured trench coat and black stilettos, were met by a crowd nearly 5,000 and abandoned their strict scheduling to meet well-wishers for 25 minutes.
Gifts, including toys, flags and flowers, were given to the parents-to-be as a group sang Stand By Me, the gospel song performed at the royal wedding in May.
One of the larger presents of the day came from Courtney Pistone, 10, who held a large teddy over the barriers and handed it to Meghan for the unborn baby.
She said: “I gave it to her for the nursery.
“I thought it would be suitable because we didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl and both boys and girls like bears.”
The cute moment Courtney Pistone, 10, hands Meghan a bear for their new baby. "I thought it would be suitable because we didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl and both boys and girls like bears.” pic.twitter.com/XbMj2CPjAN— Alexander Britton (@adbritton) October 18, 2018
The duke and duchess stopped to play with five-and-a-half-month-old Harriet Bonaddido and chatted with her mother, Jessica.
The 28-year-old said: “As soon as I introduced my daughter to Harry, he said ‘That’s a great name’.
“Maybe they will choose it for their own child, which would be fun.
“Meghan was right behind him and was playfully tickling her toes and said how sweet it was that I’d brought her out today.”
One woman, 19-year-old India Brown, held a sign saying, “Been here since 4am, loved you since I was 8” and was visibly emotional when Harry gave her a hug.
Other signs including “Worth the detention” and “Fresh Prince with red hair” were held aloft as the royal party made their way through the botanical gardens to Government House.
After a morning of engagements, the couple headed to social enterprise cafe Charcoal Lane in the trendy suburb of Fitzroy for lunch.
Chefs, trained by the Mission Australia programme, served up an entree of mushroom and quinoa nest and chargrilled kangaroo followed by a selection of dishes for a main course including wild boar, saffron risotto and barramundi.
The duke and duchess rounded off their day with a trip to the beach, where they heard about the work of the BeachPatrol, who work to keep the foreshores clean.
Meghan, who had changed into a black Club Monaco dress, and Harry also spoke to lifeguards before making their way back to the airport, and a flight back to Sydney.