Newsbeat

Meghan and Harry in Australia: The view from the veranda

Meghan and Harry Image copyright Reuters

"If there's a politician in our country going to do something silly, they can do it now and get away with it, because no one's really interested.

"We're only interested in the royals being here."

That's the view of Russell, a farmer in New South Wales.

Newsbeat spoke to Russell about Australia's devastating drought in August, when he memorably told us, "we've still got a smile. We'll still have a beer and a smoke, and that's what Aussies are good at."

So we couldn't resist calling him back to get his unique take on the royal visit.

So far on their tour of Australia, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have baked cakes, spoken about drought in the pouring rain - and Prince Harry even got a beard rub from a curious five-year-old.

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Media captionPrince Harry was meeting children with his wife, the Duchess of Sussex

Russell says Australia has enjoyed the royal visit so far - and isn't surprised that a child was pretty friendly with Harry.

"The nature here is pretty good, and that comes through with the kiddies.

"To see that close contact with the royals is just fantastic," says Russell.

He adds that although he won't be leaving the farm himself to experience a royal walkabout, he's "quite excited for those people who get to catch up with them."

Image copyright EPA

Russell insists that although there's a friendly rivalry between the Aussies and the Brits, there's no animosity to British visitors.

"There's no resentment there. My brother has married a Pom, and they're happy as Larry."

Talking to Newsbeat while having a beer after a long day building a shearing shed for his sheep, Russell says he would feed Harry and Meghan one of his own animals if they were to come round for dinner.

"We love our lamb, and we like eating our lamb," he says.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Fraser Island is also known as K'gari, and is home to the Butchulla people

Before they open the Invictus Games in Sydney and head to New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga, the royal couple have time for a stop on Fraser Island, off the eastern coast of Australia.

Russell's jealous because "many Australians have it on their bucket list to go up there and go fishing."

As for the rest of their time in Australia, he recommends they "just get a taste of the bush. Not so much the outback, but the bush."

(In case you're wondering, the bush is the part of the countryside nearer the main towns, while the outback refers to the really remote areas of Australia.)

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Media captionIronically, the royal couple had gone to the region to discuss drought

But there was a serious message behind Harry and Meghan's visit to the region.

Australia has suffered from a long drought which has affected farming throughout the whole country.

Of course, it poured it down as Harry made a speech about the drought.

"Isn't it ironic?" says Russell, "we're actually getting a thunderstorm, which we haven't had for a long, long time.

"Even though they're getting those bits of rain, it's been very dry - it's been tough."

Image copyright Russell Webb
Image caption Russell and his wife Gail are enjoying a drink on their farm in New South Wales, in eastern Australia

Russell told us in August how his farm was struggling without any water.

"There's no likelihood of crops until next year," he says, which also has knock-on effects for other local businesses.

"It's long term, but we will get through it. Australians are very resilient," he says.

"We might be a bit poorer and a bit worn out, but we'll move forward.

"The rain will come."

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