Prince Harry received an extremely warm welcome Australians in Sydney on Wednesday (June 7). Despite the torrential rain and thunderstorm, which left him drenched to the skin, Harry remained in high spirits and brightened up the day of one fan in particular – 97-year-old Daphne Dunne. The prince has met Ms Dunne once before in 2015, and looked thrilled to be reunited with her as he crouched down and gave the widow a peck on the cheek.
"He kissed me on the other cheek this time," said Ms Dunne, who was wearing her husband Albert Chowne's medals, including his posthumously-awarded Victoria Cross for his actions during the Second World War. "He really is a lovely young man and he's warm and genuine and really cares about the injured servicemen and women, he's doing a fantastic job supporting them."
During his rainy walkabout, Harry, 32, was offered a cup of tea in a china cup and saucer by Isabel Whitehead, a staff member from a local tea shop. "You have it," Harry said, politely declining the offer. Isabel explained: "We thought Harry would love to have a warm cup of tea to forget the miserable weather at the moment and warm up. He didn't take a sip but I'm sure he appreciated the gesture." As he walked past cheering fans, the Prince also joked with another royal fan, "You're too dry," before moving on. "He's so genuine, so nice and so polite and just a lovely person, and he was without an umbrella and got wet," said well-wisher Mary Ann Kavanagh.
Harry is in Australia to promote his Invictus Games, a Paralympic-style tournament for injured and sick military personnel and veterans. He watched demonstrations of adaptive sports, like wheelchair rugby and sitting volleyball, before urging Australians to get behind their Invictus Games athletes when Sydney stages the competition next year.
"I promise you the sport you will see in front of you is some of the best, most competitive, uplifting and inspiring sport you will ever, ever see," said Harry. "And I can safely say that sitting there and watching these guys and girls compete against each other, people who have fought together and recovered together, to see them serving their country once more on the sporting field. Seeing, literally, lives change through sport is one of the most uplifting and inspiring things that I think you'll ever see."
At the formal launch of the Invictus Games, Harry began his speech by paying tribute to those affected by the London terror attack. Two Australians were among the eight killed. Harry said: "In these challenging times, we can all benefit from positive and inspiring stories from which to draw strength. The Invictus Games shows us that it is possible to overcome adversity, and that the impossible is possible, if you have the will."