Prince Harry Scales the Sydney Harbour Bridge — While Mom-to-Be Meghan Markle Stays on the Ground!
Prince Harry showed off his daredevil side — and enjoyed quite the view — during his royal tour Down Under
The 34-year-old royal scaled the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Friday (local time) to raise the Invictus flag, officially ushering in the 2018 Invictus Games.
Harry was joined for the 1,000+ step climb by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison — but the prince’s wife Meghan Markle, who is expecting the couple’s first child, stayed firmly planted on the ground.
Also joining Harry on his venture upwards were Invictus Games athletes Luke Hill, Ruth Hunt, Heidi Joosten, and Michael Lyddiard, as well as Gwen Cherne, whose late husband served in Cambodia, East Timor, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
On the way up, the prince — who wore a black Invictus Games shirt and khakis with sunglasses — stopped a few times to take in the view, check on his team, and happily wave to the camera. When he finally reached the top, Harry took in his surroundings including the much larger than he was expecting black, white, and yellow Invictus flag.
“This is a big flag,” he noted, before helping to raise it alongside the Australian national flag, which was already proudly blowing in the wind.
During the group’s walk down, cars honked at Harry as they passed by. He also thanked the bridge safety officials and shook their hands before heading down to ground level, where he was met with cheers and applause.
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This is the first outing of the couple’s 76-engagement tour that Meghan, who is just entering her second trimester, didn’t participate in.
The BridgeClimb’s official site lists guidelines specifically for pregnant climbers. If you are less than 24 weeks pregnant, you can participate with a signed Certificate of Fitness Form from your doctor, however, if you are over 24 weeks pregnant you cannot climb.
The prince is no stranger to a little danger. He flew in the back of a spitfire, which he controlled for a portion of the flight, in 2015 and has been called a “natural” at skydiving. He’s even climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge before, back in 2005.
Meghan and Harry began their tour in Sydney before taking day trips to Melbourne and Dubbo.
Prior to the climbing the bridge on Friday, Meghan, 37, and Harry were greeted at the world famous Bondi Beach by Grant Trebilco and Sam Schumacher, founders of OneWave.
The colorfully dressed local surfing community group spoke to the royals about their dedication to raising awareness for mental health and well-being in an engaging way.
While there, Meghan opened up about her pregnancy to local Charlotte Connell — who is also expecting — and explained that her little one was already keeping her up at night.
“Meghan told me that pregnancy was like having jet lag,” Connell said, as reported by Sky News. “She said she was up at 4:30 a.m. this morning doing yoga in her room as she couldn’t sleep.”
They then took part in the “Fluro Friday” session, where people of all ages share their experiences of mental health issues in an “anti-bad vibe circle.”
The couple also had the opportunity to interact with others while enjoying yoga and surfing — and Harry even helped wax a surfboard.
After their beach trip, the pair headed to Macarthur Girls High School, where they met with students involved with the “In League in Harmony Youth Advocate” program, which aims to unite and inspire young people to be advocates for cohesion and inclusion in their communities.
They also participated in a workshop about social justice and youth empowerment.
The royal couple is now back in Sydney for the opening weekend of the Invictus Games, which kicks off with their opening ceremony on Saturday.
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The Paralympic-style competition for wounded and recovering service members and veterans from around the world includes sports such as wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball and indoor rowing.
Their 16-day tour will also include brief visits to the island nations of Fiji and Tonga before the royal couple returns to Australia and then heads out to New Zealand.