UK

Prince Harry takes part in Sydney navy celebration

  • 5 October 2013
  • From the section UK

Prince Harry has begun his first official trip to Australia by joining centenary celebrations to mark its navy's arrival at Sydney Harbour.

He was greeted by huge crowds as he embarked on survey ship HMAS Leeuwin at the city's Garden Island naval base, before inspecting the flotilla.

The International Fleet Review involves some 40 warships from 17 countries.

The event is the only scheduled public appearance for the prince, who is representing the Queen.

A 100-gun salute marked the start of the celebrations, and Prince Harry was joined by Australia's Governor-General Quentin Bryce on board the Leeuwin to officially review the fleet.

Some 16 tall ships and 8,000 sailors from around the world have been taking part in the event, with warships from countries including the US, China, France and India. Britain sent one of its largest ships, the Type 45 destroyer HMS Daring, to represent the Royal Navy.

An estimated 1.4 million spectators were expected to line the banks of Sydney harbour for the celebrations, which finished with a light show and display involving 7.7 tonnes of fireworks.

'Big fan'

After the fleet review, Prince Harry posed for photographs with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, his wife Margie, and two of their three daughters, Frances and Bridget.

The prince changed from his white army dress uniform to a grey suit and blue tie to meet the public and there were shouts of "give us a wave Harry" from the crowd.

One spectator, Sinead Kirrane, 23, originally from Ireland, said: "He (Prince Harry) seems fun, I'm a big fan.

"We are excited to see him and maybe get a smile from him."

Australia"s Chief of the Defense Force Gen. David Hurley and Prince Harry
Prince Harry met the chief of Australia's defence force, General David Hurley, before reviewing the fleet
Price Harry greets a baby
He spoke to members of the public at Campbell's Cove ahead of a reception
Fireworks over Sydney Harbour
The event ended with a fireworks display at Sydney Harbour Bridge, overseen by Australia's navy warship HMAS Sydney

Giving a speech to an audience that included disabled war veterans, Paralympians and young entrepreneurs, Mr Abbott broached Australian republicanism and said: "Prince Harry, I regret to say not every Australian is a monarchist.

"But today everyone feels like a monarchist today.

"You grace us as your family has graced our nation from its beginning, as the Crown is a symbol of our stability, continuity and decency in public life."

The prince, whose short Australian tour features a one-day trip to Sydney ahead of a brief visit to the Western Australia capital of Perth on Sunday, is not the only British Harry causing excitement in the country.

Singer Harry Styles is currently in Sydney with his band, One Direction.

After he leaves Australia, Prince Harry will head to Dubai to attend a fundraising event for the aids charity, Sentebale.

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