After launching the student car project with a controller, Meghan jumped back at the explosive noise

By Joelle Goldstein and Stephanie Petit
October 17, 2018 11:30 PM

Meghan Markle won’t let a temporary fright stop her from enjoying time with Prince Harry in Melbourne, Victoria.

While visiting the Government House for the Young Victorian Leaders reception on Thursday, the royal couple were shown several sporting demonstrations, including a student-designed Formula 1 racing project.

Giving Meghan, 37, the royal honors to launch the mini F1 cars set up on a dining table, she pressed the button but was completely caught off guard by the incredibly loud explosion that followed.

“I did not expect that!” she exclaimed of their speedy takeoff while laughing at her own jumpy reaction.

Meanwhile, Harry, 34, looked as happy as a child in a toy store, beaming at the cars and laughed at his wife’s startled reaction. “Wasn’t quite expecting that,” he joked to her. He even fist-pumped when they were first invited to try the cars.

The young boys who demonstrated the award-winning miniature F1 cars, as reported by, asked if Meghan would like to launch them again, but she politely declined. Harry, on the other hand, was intrigued by their design and wanted to learn more about the cars, asking if they were 3D printed.

“3D printing being put to good use,” he told them. “That is fantastic.”

While the boys showed off their car project, outside the girls showed off their sporting skills.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
| Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty

Meghan met with ambassadors from This Girl Can, which is an organization focused on encouraging women to take up sports.

During the outing, Meghan demonstrated her athleticism, tossing around an AFL football and showing off her best hand-passing skills.

AFL, which standards for Australian Football League, is Victoria’s most popular game but is played all around Australia.

Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle
| Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty
Meghan Markle passing the ball to a This Girl Can representative
| Credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage

Following the event, the royal couple, who announced Monday that they are expecting their first child, visited the Mission Australia social enterprise restaurant Charcoal Lane during day three of their royal tour Down Under.

Inside the kitchen, the couple heard from Executive Chef Greg Hampton about how the restaurant provides guidance and opportunity to young Indigenous people who are in need of a fresh start in life. They were then treated to a cooking demonstration showcasing native Australian food, where Meghan and Harry were able to taste some herbs.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
| Credit: Phil Noble - Pool/Getty
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
| Credit: Phil Noble - Pool/Getty
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
| Credit: Phil Noble - Pool/Getty

The cooking event was right up the Duchess of Sussex’s alley!

Meghan hosted her first palace lunch last month to launch a special cookbook she helped create. She wrote the foreword for Together: Our Community Cookbook, which features recipes from a group of women whose community was affected by the Grenfell Tower fire in which more than 70 people died.

Accompanied by Prince Harry and her mom, Doria Ragland, Meghan helped make chapatis and turn koftas on a grill under a large tent on the grounds of Kensington Palace. In a speech to guests, she said the project had been a “tremendous labor of love.”

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
| Credit: Samir Hussein / WireImage
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Earlier in the day, Meghan and Harry met fans in Melbourne, gathered on the grounds of the city’s Royal Botanic Gardens. One lucky young woman even got a giant hug from the prince, causing her to break down in (very happy!) tears.

“Prince Harry just hugged me,” 19-year-old India Brown told The Herald Sun. “I’ve loved that family since I was eight and I’ve followed them around the world.”

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“It was just such an opportunity and I just went for it,” Brown told the outlet. “I didn’t expect it to happen because it’s actually against protocol.”

They’ll wrap the third day of their jam-packed 16-day tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand performing a beach clean-up with local schoolchildren.