Sussex

Harry and Meghan visit Sussex as duke and duchess

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex Image copyright AFP
Image caption The royal couple were given their titles on their wedding day

Adoring crowds met the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on their first official visit to the county that features in their royal titles.

The couple, who got married in May, visited some of the region's most well-known sites on a whistle-stop tour.

They were greeted with cheers at each stop of their eagerly-anticipated trip and, in one case, chants of "Harry".

The tour took Harry and Meghan to Chichester, Bognor, Brighton and Peacehaven.

In Brighton, the duke's arrival was soundtracked by a chorus of "Harry, Harry, Harry" as well-wishers caught their first glimpse of the sixth in line to the throne.

He was photographed at the town's pavilions eagerly exchanging handshakes and high-fives with a group of schoolchildren.

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Media captionThe Duke dished out handshakes to excited schoolchildren in Brighton

While on the final leg of the tour, in Peacehaven, Meghan was spotted rushing to the aid of one young girl who stood in the crowd in tears.

The kind-hearted duchess was seen holding 10-year-old Kara Fairhall's hand and comforting the youngster for some time.

As it happened: Harry and Meghan's first Sussex visit

Speaking later, Kara said: "I felt a lot better afterwards and I said thank you to her.

"She's really nice and I was really happy I got to meet her."

Elsewhere, Harry and Meghan met dozens of other royal fans, viewed historical artefacts and were treated to musical performances.

Here's how the day unfolded.

Crowds in Chichester

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Warm welcome: The Duchess was handed flowers by some well-wishers

When they finally arrived in the West Sussex cathedral city, Harry and Meghan were met with a rapturous reception.

The duchess was seen dabbing her eyes and greeting people with smiles amid the chorus of cheers.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Well-wishers held out a banner asking for a royal wave

Both spent time mingling with crowds on a royal walkabout, where many school children waited, hoping to hand gifts and flowers to the royal pair.

Harry met two-year-old Tobias Henning, playfully tickling the toddler as he greeted him.

Meanwhile, the duchess was seen shaking hands, hugging, or being given flowers by some fans.

Among them was Ellie Penfold, from Chichester, who said Meghan looked "very happy".

"We told her how much we loved her wedding dress and talked about the wedding," she said.

"She looked very pleased to see everyone and [was] very natural."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Loyal subject: It wasn't just two-legged fans turning up to greet Harry and Meghan

For the visit, the duchess chose a camel Armani coat, worn with a dark green Hugo Boss skirt and a shirt from And Other Stories, paired with nude suede stilettos.

Harry, meanwhile, cut a dapper figure dressed in a grey suit and open-necked white shirt.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The Duke and Duchess viewed the Sussex copy of the American Declaration of Independence

Away from the adoring masses, the duke and the US-born former actress were shown a copy of the US Declaration of Independence, during a visit to Edes House.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The duchess signed the guestbook at Edes House

Upon seeing the manuscript, one of only two contemporary handwritten ceremonial manuscript copies, the duchess told staff it was "just incredible".

'Very cool' Bognor stop

Image copyright PA
Image caption The duchess wore a dark green Hugo Boss skirt and a shirt from And Other Stories, paired with nude suede stilettos

In Bognor, the duke and duchess were greeted by a crowd of students at the University of Chichester's Engineering and Digital Technology Park.

After officially opening the campus, the duke jokingly asked students in an animation and special effects class if they had been "waiting for hours".

Moving onto an engineering laboratory, the couple donned safety goggles as the duchess pushed the button on a Mecmesin machine, which tests the durability of materials.

"It's a very cool machine," she said afterwards.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The duke and duchess donned protective glasses in the lab

Before their departure, Harry and Meghan listened to the student chamber orchestra perform a piece from Vivaldi's Four Seasons.

Speaking to the musicians, the duchess said the piece was "so impressive... beautiful".

Cellist Laura Ritchie, 44, a professor of learning and teaching in the music department, said it was "a privilege" to meet the royal couple.

The Chicago-born musician said: "They joked that I've lost my accent."

Brighton 'jubilation'

Image caption Huge crowds turned out to greet the couple in Brighton

The couple were met by crowds with balloons in Brighton, where the first stop was the Royal Pavilion - the former seaside palace of King George IV, the duke's great, great, great, great uncle.

The pair were met by chants of "Harry, Harry, Harry".

Image caption Crowds gathered in Brighton for the visit, some with special balloons

After visiting the pavilion, the couple made their way to the Survivors' Network, a charity in the city that supports survivors of rape and sexual assault and which last year helped more than 1,500 people.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Crowds lined the route to see the duke and duchess

Jay Breslaw, its director, said there was "a mood of real jubilation in the office".

"We recognise the huge importance to us as a small charity in Sussex, and particularly in this time when funding is difficult, funds are being cut," she said.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The duke and duchess were given a tour of the pavilion

Rosa Monckton, who runs a community enterprise in Brighton helping young adults with learning disabilities, and who was a close friend of the duke's mother, Diana, the Princess of Wales, said: "I think it's really good to see them taking on his mother's role. He's very much his mother's son."

Peacehaven 'loud cheers'

Image caption Crowds gathered outside the Joff Youth Centre

The couple's last stop was the coastal town of Peacehaven where they met young people at the Joff Youth Centre.

Large crowds gathered to greet the couple with loud cheers.

At the youth centre, the pair heard about its work on mental health and wellbeing.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Duchess met young people who use the centre

The duke and duchess met some of the young people who use the centre, which offers them a space to relax, a music room and other activities.

Image caption Children brought posies to present to the couple

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