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Prince Harry attends the International Fleet Review in Sydney

5th October 2013

Prince Harry and Australia's Governor-General Quentin Bryce, onboard the HMAS Leeuwin, participate in the 2013 International Fleet Review in Sydney, Australia

Prince Harry and Australia's Governor-General Quentin Bryce, onboard the HMAS Leeuwin, participate in the 2013 International Fleet Review in Sydney, Australia.

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Prince Harry arrived in Australia for his first official visit to represent The Queen at the International Fleet Review, which features around 40 warships from 17 countries.

And after a warm welcome when he arrived at the city's Kingsford-Smith Airport last night, thousands of people turned out this afternoon for a chance to see the royal as he did a meet-and-greet before boarding a boat for a reception with Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

There were screams from those at Campbell's Cove, in the shadow of Sydney Harbour Bridge, as Prince Harry chatted, shook hands and posed for photos before boarding a small boat to cross the harbour for the reception at Kirribilli House, on the north side of the bay.

There were shouts of "give us a wave Harry" from many people and he boarded the boat clutching a tiny koala teddy bear, one of several gifts he received from wellwishers.

Sinead Kirrane and Rebecca Thompson, two Irish women living in Sydney, were in the crowd.

Miss Kirrane, 23, originally from Galloway, said: "He seems fun, I'm a big fan.

"We are excited to see him and maybe get a smile from him."

Prince Harry previously visited Australia in 2003.

 

Prince Harry shakes hands with a small boy as he is greeted by a large crowd during the International Fleet Review in Sydney

Prince Harry shakes hands with a small boy as he is greeted by a large crowd during the International Fleet Review in Sydney

View Album (7 images)

The review is being held to commemorate 100 years since the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) first modern warships sailed into Sydney, seen as a defining moment in the country's maritime history.

More than a million people are expected to line the banks of Sydney Harbour for the main day of the review and to catch a glimpse of the prince.

The event involved 8,000 naval personnel and Royal Australian Air Force aircraft, plus 16 sail ships, and will finish with a firework display over Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Britain has sent one of its latest and most advanced ships, Type 45 destroyer HMS Daring, to represent the Royal Navy.

This morning Prince Harry was greeted by a crowd of hundreds as he embarked on survey ship HMAS Leeuwin at the city's Garden Island naval base before inspecting the flotilla.

The Prince was joined on board by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Governor General Quentin Bryce, The Queen's representative in Australia, before a 100-gun salute.

He follows in the footsteps of his grandfather, The Duke of Edinburgh, who took part in a naval review in Sydney in 1986.

The Prince wore a white British Army tropical dress uniform with the sky blue beret of the Army Air Corps as he took the salute.

Among the crowd were naval trainee medics Ayesha Sweeney, 19, and Renee Simmons, 21, who live six hours' drive away at their base in Aubrey, New South Wales.

Miss Sweeney said: "It was good to get a royal visit today for the review, it adds that extra excitement to it."

In front of The Prince and an audience which included disabled Australian war veterans, Paralympians and young entrepreneurs, The PRime Minister gave a speech.  

He said:  "Prince Harry, I regret to say not every Australian is a monarchist.

"But today everyone feels like a monarchist.

"You grace us as your family has graced our nation from its beginning...as the Crown is a symbol of our stability, continuity and decency in public life."

Arriving at Kirribilli amongst a host of boats and circling helicopters, Prince Harry was greeted by Mr Abbott, wife Margie and two of his three daughters, Frances and Bridget.

He then chatted with more wellwishers who had gathered at the gates of the house before heading inside.

The Prince's whistlestop visit will see him go to Perth tomorrow before heading to Dubai to attend a fundraising event for his Sentebale African Aids charity.

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