Rain began to fall on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal tour in Australian moments after the newlyweds visited a drought-stricken farm in Dubbo

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October 17, 2018 12:09 AM

After touching down in Dubbo, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visited Victoria Park for a picnic to celebrate the community spirit within the region.

However, they weren’t the only well-received guests. After struggling with drought for the past several years, Dubbo experienced heavy rainfall as Harry, 34, took the stage to deliver a speech.

The unexpected showers proved to be quite a surprise for the Dubbo community and Harry and Meghan.

The prince did his best to keep his pregnant wife dry and could be seen sweetly sheltering the former Suits actress, 37, under an umbrella. But his other duty called, so Harry gave the umbrella to Meghan so she could stay dry as he took the stage.

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Showing they are the perfect team, the pregnant royal then walked on stage and insisted on returning the favor, sheltering him as he spoke to the crowd. While Dubbo’s Mayor Ben Shields offered the prince his umbrella, Harry said, “It’s all right, I’ve got my wife.”

“Our region has been hit by a terrible drought so we are very pleased that you can bring that terrible English weather here with you,” the mayor joked before welcoming Harry.

Harry began his speech by praising the people of Australia and the country town saying, “you are the salt of the earth, honest, hardworking and as tough as they come and that resilience, sense of humor and commitment to the land are the qualities that make you unique.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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“You are the backbone of this country,” Harry continued. “The rich traditions of the Australian outback are legendary. You have a lot to be proud of. But I know that life has not been easy.”

Like Mayor Shields, Harry also joked about the rain saying it was a “gift,” but shifted the conversation to a more serious note by pointing out that weather was not enough to end the region’s long drought.

Harry, who has been open about his own struggles with mental health, also addressed another very serious impact of the drought — an increase in suicide among young male in rural areas.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

“You have just lived through two years of drought and despite the recent welcome rain it is going to take a lot more and a long time to recover,” Harry continued.

“It must be hard not to lose hope when you endure so many dry months end on end knowing that you are powerless to do anything about it.”

“We know that suicide rates in rural and remote areas are greater than in urban populations and this may especially be true among young men in remote regions,” he continued.

‘But outside all of that, here’s what I also know. You are one huge community and with that comes an unparalleled level of internal support and understanding.”

The prince told the crowd it is critical they ask for that help.

Prince Harry was shown how to throw a bomerrang
Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

“You need to know a part of being strong and tough is having the courage to ask for help when you need it. You must not silently suffer.”

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Speaking on his own journey Harry added, “You are all in this together and, if I may say, personally, we are all in this together. Because asking for help was one of the best decisions that I ever made. You will be continually amazed at how life changes for the better.”

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Harry previously revealed he sought counseling for years after his mother Princess Diana’s death. During an interview with The Telegraph, Harry admitted he recently addressed his grief when he was 28 after struggling with anxiety and the feeling of wanting to punch someone.

The monumental rainfall came shortly after Harry and Meghan met with a local family who is fourth generation cattle and sheep farmers to hear their experiences with drought. The family members are working to find ways to deal with the changing environmental condition, which has impacted the majority of New South Wales, according to 9 News.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
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While learning from farmers Scott and Elaine Woodley and their 23-year-old daughter Laura, Meghan and Harry also got a chance to feed cattle, which consisted of dumping a mixture of grains onto piles of hay.

Despite being about 12 weeks pregnant, Meghan was just as hands-on as Harry and was seen rolling up her sleeves when feeding the animals.

However, just a few moments later Meghan and Harry were led to a sitting area where the former Suits actress was given a glass of water to cool down.

Of course, this isn’t Prince Harry‘s first time around cattle. In 2003, Harry took a gap year and worked as a jackaroo at Tooloombilla Station in outback Central Queensland after graduating from Eton.

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
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Harry and Meghan’s first major stop on their 16-day tour down under after a welcoming reception was the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, where they met with conservation scientists who are working on efforts to reduce illegal wildlife trafficking.

Harry thanked Australia for the” incredibly warm welcome” they’d received and the “chance to meet Aussies from all walks of life” during a reception later that day.

“We also genuinely couldn’t think of a better place to announce the upcoming baby,” he continued, “whether it’s a boy or a girl.”

Their tour is meant to “focus on youth leadership, and projects being undertaken by young people to address the social, economic, and environmental challenges of the region,” the palace said in a statement. Harry “is particularly keen to highlight these youth-led initiatives in his new role as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, and to shine a light on the work and aspirations of young people across the Commonwealth.”

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