Thousands visited Dubbo to catch a glimpse of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex during their visit on Wednesday, 17 October 2018 amid a festive atmosphere.
Well-wishers had arrived at Victoria Park from around 5.00 am to make sure they had good spots to see the royal couple, including ladies and girls, including preschoolers, getting into the spirit by wearing tiaras and dressing up as princesses.
Some had come as far away as Coonamble, Warren, Lightning Ridge, Port Macquarie, Armidale and Albury.
Three ladies from Gunnedah had set up a table ready for high tea, decorated with bunting, a teapot (covered with a tea cozy), elegant teacups and saucers and a small cake on a stand near the barriers, hoping to speak with Harry or Meghan later that day as they met members of the public.
Royal Correspondent Robert Jobson had said he taken a walk around Dubbo earlier that morning, to see more of the town, before doing interviews for various news outlets including Channel 7 and 2Day FM 104.1.
Young George had a great vantage point in a nearby tree where he remained for most of the picnic.
However, he did have some company when a girl around the same age climbed up to join him for part of the celebrations.
Band Thirsty Merc entertained the crowds as they waited to see the Duke and Duchess, especially as bassist Phil Stack was born and bred in Dubbo.
Geoff Mann, as Master of Ceremonies, urged the public to show Harry and Meghan to ‘show them your smiles’ rather than their phones!
At one stage, he said much to the amusement of some, ‘Show them your teeth!’
Busloads children arrived, accompanied by their teachers, took a day off school to be part of this historic day.
One group held up a sign, ‘Harry and Megan please reign on our parade.’
Even one policewoman speaking to members of the public wore a tiara.
One lady brought a hand-made quilt made of royal wedding tea-towels, a memento which belonged to her daughter and is in use, rather than stored in a box.
Big black clouds gathered overhead and rolled in sooner than expected, with a deluge of rain, despite reassurances it would hold off until about 3.00 pm.
So there was a mad flurry to reach for raincoats, ponchos and umbrellas to keep dry.
Crowds cheered when Harry and Meghan finally arrived after visiting Mountain View farm to see how the drought has affected local farmers, including the Woodley Family.
Mayor Ben Shields and Member for Dubbo, Troy Grant MP, welcomed the royal couple to Dubbo and Prince Harry gave a speech, following a ‘Welcome To Country’ ceremony.
The Duke and Duchess were also introduced to local support groups or charities including Drought Angels, the Country Women’s Association and HeadSpace.
The royal couple also met and shook hands with many well-wishers despite the wet weather.
Many local businesses had decorated their business premises with flags, banners, bunting and signs in preparation for the Royal Visit.
Prince Harry’s grandmother, Elizabeth II, had visited Dubbo in 1954 and 1992.
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