Filed in News Royal Tour: Australia Royal Visit

Duke and Duchess of Sussex given ‘long list’ of baby names by family and friends

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been given a “long list” of potential baby names suggested by friends and family.

The royal couple, who are expecting their first child in the spring, told curious children in Australia they are “going to sit down and have a look at” the options.

During a trip on the Melbourne tram, the Duke and Duchess were interrogated by schoolchildren who spent the journey of just a few minutes asking them about their plans for parenthood.

Charlie Wolf, a 12-year-old pupil from Middle Park primary school, asked if the couple had any names for their unborn baby.

The children said the Duchess replied with: “We’ve been given a long list of names from everyone, we’re going to sit down and have a look at them.”

Ella Burns, a 12-year-old pupil from Albert Park primary school, said: “She said that she hadn’t thought of one as it was still quite early.”

The Duchess was also asked by Ella what she liked doing in her spare time.

She replied that she “didn’t have much spare time” but when she does, she enjoys “relaxing and watching TV shows”.

The Duchess faltered when asked what her favourite show was, replying: “There’s heaps, I can’t think of a specific one.”

Meanwhile, Lola Marinis, 12, from Middlepark Primary School, sat near the Duke. He asked what job she wanted to do and she replied that she wanted to be a teacher.

The Duke told her: “There is always going to be one bad teacher that you remember – we need more good teachers.”

The Duchess of Sussex has been given plenty of flowers since she arrived in Australia. But today she was given her first tiara.

It was presented by six year old Annie, a pupil at Albert Park primary school in Melbourne.

Annie was one of 600 cheering children who greeted the duke and duchess as they came to see how the school is cutting waste and growing vegetables as part of a sustainability programme.

The Duke spotted Annie, who was holding a bunch of flowers as well as a toy tiara, and knelt down and said: “Lily of the valley – is that right?” Then, gesturing to the Duchess, he said: “Are they for her?”

The Duchess, who was wearing a dress by Club Monaco, came over and said: “Oh my goodness, thank you. Those are amazing!”

The couple met the school’s “waste warriors”, dressed up in cape and masks, and met some sustainability leaders who showed them their “nude food” lunch boxes, without any plastic wrapping.

At the school wormery the duke was invited to name their pet snail. “Speedy?” he suggested.

At the vegetable patch, which included marigolds, peas, lettuce and alfalfa, Emma Cafferkey and Finn McClenaghan, both 12, showed them how to mulch. “The mulch is made out of sugar that has been shredded. You have to remember with the mulch not to put it on top of the plants.”

After they left he said: “They said we were very well educated and that we knew a lot about this kind of stuff.”

As they left, one little boy told the Duke: “You remind me of my uncle.” The Duke replied: “Is that a good thing? Is it because I’ve got a ginger beard?”

The Duke of Sussex has spoken of his concerns about the environmental impact of “fast fashion” today as he and the Duchess hit the beach in Melbourne.

Harry and Meghan, who had changed into a navy Club Moncao dress and flat shoes, visited South Melbourne beach, where they joined volunteers and schoolchildren from the local Beach Patrol programme, where they heard about their efforts to keep the local beaches litter- free and reduce the impact on the marine environment.

The couple met a group of local school children from Albert Park Primary and Albert Park College, who have been carrying out “beach cleans” for several months as part of a school programme, the “Clean Beach Patrol.”

The children showed them bags full of plastic cups, bottles and straws they had collected, which are then analysed for environmental impact.

Speaking to Albert Park College student, Ashley Soja, 14, Harry said: “There is literally plastic everywhere. And, you know, microplastics are a real problem, especially the microplastics from fast-fashion. Did you know that’s one of the biggest culprits?”

Bonnie Sheppard, 15, another Albert Park College student, said: “Meghan was really interested in the effect of microplastics. I told her that there are more microplastics in the ocean than stars in the Milky Way, which she was surprised by.”

“It’s amazing what you guys are doing,” said Meghan. “Well done, you’re doing a really great job. Keep it up.”

Carlo Foster, 12, an Albert Park Primary pupil, showed Harry and Meghan bags full of plastic cups, beakers and bottles he has collected. Harry said: “Another worrying thing I’m hearing is some people trying to claim things like these are actually habitats for fish and turtles. Don’t ever let anyone convince you of that.”

The couple also spoke to Melisand Box, 14, from Albert Park College, who had a bag filled with plastic straws. She said: “Harry told us to spread the message about whether people really need to use straws at all, and if they do, to use bamboo or metal straws.”

Harry and Meghan then did a “mini-walkabout”, greeting dozens of excited schoolchildren who had lined up on the beach to meet them. Among them was Amelia Marcom, 12, from St Kilda Primary school: “I gave Meghan flowers, a picture of her and Harry I’d drawn for them and some t-shirts for the baby. She said she loved them.”

Before leaving the beach, the couple strolled hand in hand down to the shoreline, to meet a group of lifeguards from Australia Surf Lifeguards. Sebastian Top, 20, a lifeguard for more than four years, asked Meghan, “Are you going to swim today?” “Maybe not today,” she laughed.

Harry pointed to a group of around 30 people who had waded into the sea from the beach to get a better view of them: “If we try and swim, I think they might be a bit of a hazard.”

The Duchess of Sussex unleashed her inner Australian after being persuaded to join in some Aussie Rules football and tucking into chargrilled kangaroo for lunch in Melbourne.

On the third day of their Australian tour, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were greeted by crowds bearing cuddly toys and baby names as they embarked on a walkabout at the city’s Royal Botanical Gardens on Thursday.

Locals waited from as early as 5am in a bid to catch a glimpse of the royal couple as they headed to Victoria as part of their 16-day tour, which will also take in New Zealand, Fiji, and Tonga.

Harry and Meghan, who was wearing a navy blue dress by Australian brand Dion Lee with a camel-coloured trench coat and black stilettos, were met by a crowd nearing 5,000 and abandoned their strict scheduling to meet royal fans for 25 minutes.

The day included a number of causes close to the royal couple’s hearts, including youth leadership and sustainability.

They met members of the This Girl Can empowerment campaign, which encourages everyday women to get active however, wherever and whenever they want without being judged, watched demonstrations of sports including netball, yoga, boxercise, cricket, cycling and Zumba.

The Duchess appeared to enjoy the fitness display, which was accompanied by high-energy soundtrack by DJ Yo Mafia, and was even convinced to throw an Australian Football League ball.

“I’m not sure I will be good,” she laughed, as she nervously threw the ball to one of the women. “I’m not sure I did it right!”

Jerril Rechter, CEO of VicHealth who showed the Duchess around the event, said: “She was really impressed by the diversity of activity we had here today, and especially the sense of camaraderie between the women.

“She did pass an AFL football. She did a handball. That’s a pretty incredible thing for anybody to do.

“She had not seen an AFL football before Howard, the governor’s husband, explained to her what it was like – the weight of it is a little bit different, and that you handball it, you don’t pass it.”

She described her as a “role model” and added: “She was really engaged. She has done a lot of work in the background with women’s empowerment and it was good to see her coming along and seeing people in local communities making a change.”

The Duchess, a self-confessed foodie, was in her element as she and the Duke enjoyed a taste of Australia at Charcoal Lane, a social enterprise restaurant in Melbourne’s trendy Fitzroy suburb.

At a private lunch, the royal couple enjoyed a shared entree of mushroom and quinoa nest and chargrilled kangaroo and main courses of wild boar, saffron risotto and barramundi.

It was prepared by young chefs being trained by the Mission Australia programme, which assists young indigenous Australians into employment, in many cases giving them a fresh start in life.

Before the meal, they visited the kitchen, where Greg Hampton, the executive chef, told the Duke and Duchess: “Welcome, we are so happy to have you here.”

Gesturing at the sparkling surfaces, Harry said: “You’ve got a very clean kitchen – is it always this clean? Especially clean today?”

Meghan slipped off her Martin Grant trench coat in the warm room before Mr Hampton talked the couple through an array of unusual herbs and aromatic spices, getting them to smell and taste them.

“A lot of these ingredients have been here for thousands of years. Our fruits are the same as fruits thousands of years ago,” he said.

Showing them a finger lime, he squeezed out the fleshy contents, explaining: “It comes out like caviar.”

“Oh my goodness, that’s incredible,” said the Duchess.

But he warned the couple that the Tasmanian pepper came with a kick, adding: “I don’t want to freak you out!”

Speaking ahead of their arrival, he had said: “I would hesitate to offer her (the Duchess ) the pepper, because they are quite hot.

“The first time I tasted one I thought I was having an allergic reaction because the heat creeps up on you. I don’t want to freak her out.”

Crushing a leaf of Strawberry Gum, a type of Eucalyptus, he encouraged the royal visitors to smell it.

“Is that what Koalas eat in the Bush?” asked the Duke. “Yes, but we can’t eat it in the same way,” said Mr Hampton, explaining how oils from the plant are used to flavour marinades, fish dishes and even ice cream.

The couple were presented with Charcoal Lane aprons for the “touch, taste and smell” experience, but did not wear them.

“We are here to support young Aboriginal people into the workforce, with a view that when they leave this place, there is going to be long-term employment for them,” said Mr Hampton. “I’m not going to turn everyone that comes here into a chef, but if they leave here with a work ethic, it’s a win for us.”

Charcoal Lane employs 23 young people for 15 hours a week as they work towards hospitality qualifications.

Troy Crellin, programme manager, said that in 10 years, the organisation had helped some 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders into work.

The Duke and Duchess’s visit to the restaurant began after they admired a mural outside created by Gunnai and Waradgerie man Robert Young to honour the building and the area’s indigenous heritage.

The Duke of Sussex has spoken on his fears for young men struggling with their mental health “without even realising”.

The Duke, who a day earlier delivered a speech about the problem of depression and suicide in rural Australia, spent time with representatives of The Man Cave, which helps teenage boys with the mental health and was founded by one of the Queen’s Young Leaders.

Hailing him as “the right role model” for men and boys, the charity’s chief executive, Hunter Johnson, said: “We really need more global leaders like Harry.”

The Duchess greeted Mr Johnson by saying “there’s a familiar face”, after meeting him at Buckingham Palace earlier this year. The conversation quickly turned to Prince Harry’s speech in Dubbo on Wednesday, where he delivered an emotional message to Australian farmers and opened up about depression and mental health issues.

“So many young men are suffering from these problems without even realising,” Harry said.

In the speech, he had told an audience: “You need to know that part of being strong and tough is having the courage to ask for help when you need it. You must not silently suffer. You are all in this together.

“And if I may speak personally, we are all in this together – because asking for help was one of the best decisions I ever made.

“You will be continually amazed how your life changes for the better once you put your hand up. It’s not easy and there are no quick fixes, but it’s about being the best version of yourself for you and for those around you.”

Also representing Man Cave was 14-year-old Rupert Grant, a student from Melbourne Grammar School who had been involved with Man Cave programme through his school after experiencing a “tough time” in school.

After explaining how the programme had made an impact on life for him and his friends, Meghan remarked, “You’re quite the spokesman!”

“We really need more global leaders like Harry,” Mr Johnson said later. “There is a change happening amongst men now, a focus on healthy masculinity and having his support is a real badge of honour.

“I thanked Harry for his role modelling and leadership – and we spoke about his incredible words in Dubbo. When I said that the Duchess looked up at him proudly.

“It’s important that as men we address these issues, that we’re not afraid to take the mask off and open up. To have started that conversation in Dubbo yesterday was powerful.

“He’s a positive, glass half-full person and has an incredible influence on the younger generation. He is the right role model for young men and boys today.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were greeted by thousands of chanting fans in Melbourne on Thursday, as children skipped school to see them and infants provided baby name inspiration.

Locals gathered in the Royal Botanical Gardens in the city from as early as 5am to catch a glimpse of the royal couple during their whistle stop visit.

The day holds particular significance for both Duke and Duchess as they visit projects throughout the city that align with their goals on the tour, of encompassing the work of youth leadership, sustainability and meeting marginalised groups in society.

Despite the royal couple arriving 20 minutes late for their first engagement of the day, having struggled with traffic from the airport, the crowd of about 5,000 showed no sign of running out of enthusiasm.

Rhys Pratt, eight, from Melbourne begged his mother Naomi to allow him to take the day off school he even diligently made a flag bearing the colours of the the county of Sussex. Rhys said: “I wanted to come here so badly but my mum said I had to go to school.

“My dad is from Yorkshire in England and I really love Harry and Meghan so after I promised to make a flag to give to them my mum said she would take me.”

The Duke told the schoolboy his creation was “cool” and thanked him for coming to meet him.

Rhys said: “Everybody in Melbourne loves Harry and Meghan and all my friends will be so jealous I got to meet them.”

The popularity of royal couple among Australians has been in no doubt since they landed on Monday. Just hours later they shared the news that they were expecting their first child, due to be born in the Spring.

Their engagement with local communities has been the focus of front page editorials and hours of television news reel, with locals showing their support in their hundreds and thousands wherever the opportunity presents itself.

After spending 25 minutes talking to well-wishers and taking an array of gifts including cuddly toys, flags, newspaper cuttings and handmade trinkets, the Duke and Duchess stopped to play with five and a half month old Harriet Bonaddido and talk to her mum, Jessica.

The 28-year-old said: “As soon as I introduced my daughter to Harry he said ‘that’s a great name’.

“Maybe they will choose it for their own child which would be fun.

“Meghan was right behind him and was playfully tickling her toes and said how sweet it was that I’d brought her out today.”

Once again, the couple abandoned their strict scheduling to enable them to meet as many fans as possible on their first engagement before they were received by the Governor of Victoria.