WELCOME to the first day of our Royal Tour coverage - and what a day to start on! Meghan Markle is pregnant with her first child and will give birth in the British spring next year.

Aussies will be the first to congratulate the Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry in person, with the pair embarking on a 16-day tour starting at Admiralty House in Kirribilli.

The pair will then move on to Taronga Zoo and Sydney Opera House later today.

BABY GIFTS MELT HARRY'S HEART

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry arrived at Admiralty House just after 9am.

Governor-General Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove presented them with a number of little gifts, including a stuffed kangaroo and a pair of Akubra hats.

But it was the third little gift - a pair of baby ugg boots - that brought this heartwarming expression to Prince Harry's face:

 

 

Governor-General Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove have presented Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with a pair of ugg boots, a stuffed kangaroo and a pair of Akubra hats.
Governor-General Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove have presented Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with a pair of ugg boots, a stuffed kangaroo and a pair of Akubra hats.

 

Harry and Meghan have met with Governor-General Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove this morning.
Harry and Meghan have met with Governor-General Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove this morning.

 

 

Governor-General Peter Cosgrove gives the couple a pair of ugg boots.
Governor-General Peter Cosgrove gives the couple a pair of ugg boots.

 

 

This is Harry and Meghan’s first stop in Sydney today.
This is Harry and Meghan’s first stop in Sydney today.

 

Meghan’s dress was designed by Aussie fashion designer Karen Gee.
Meghan’s dress was designed by Aussie fashion designer Karen Gee.

AUSSIES GEARING UP TO MEET ROYAL COUPLE

Australians far and wide are queuing up in the hopes of getting a glimpse of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex - and of course, the baby bump.

Today's a chance to recreate history for the Dunsire family.

Mum Pauline and her twin six-year-old daughters Grace and Willow drove up from the southern highlands to catch a glimpse of the royal couple.

Almost 30 years ago, Pauline's own mother brought her to the Opera House to see Princess Diana when she toured the country.

"We got to meet her too," Pauline said.

Grace and Willow hope to meet Meghan and give her flowers, paintings and a letter.

"(In the letter) We congratulated them on their baby news and asked if they're having twins," they laughed.

 

Six-year-old twins Grace and Willow came up from the southern highlands, hoping to catch a glimpse of the royals.
Six-year-old twins Grace and Willow came up from the southern highlands, hoping to catch a glimpse of the royals.

 

Alice, 85, from Mosman, was lined up and in a prime position outside the Opera House bright and early to catch a glimpse or Prince Harry and Meghan.

"I love Harry! I saw him briefly when he was here last time. And Meghan seems to have a lovely personality - I'm so happy about their baby news."

Alice is somewhat of a royal tour expert - she's seen the "always beautiful" Queen six times in Australia, and shared a sweet moment with Prince William on tour "back when he was a bachelor."

"We shook hands, and he was very pleasant.. but I was in a daze, I was speechless," she said.
Ella and Erin, both 18, even took a day off from studying for the HSC - which starts on Thursday - to try and meet Harry and Meghan.

Their hour-long train commute and 8am arrival meant a 5.45 alarm this morning, but it's all worth it for the "hardcore royal fans."

An hour before the Duke and Duchess are due, they're still working out what they'll say to the couple if they're lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.

"I think we'll go with congratulations!" an excited Erin told news.com.au.

Jordan Ilencik, 14, gave school a miss today to deliver a very special message - and flowers - to Meghan.

"I want Meghan's attention," he said, dressed in his finest outfit. "I want to give her a hug. She's just a beautiful person.

"I'm going to give her the flowers and show her my cute charm."

 

Jordan Ilencik, 14, gave school a miss today to deliver a very special message - and flowers - to Meghan. He just has to be home by 4.
Jordan Ilencik, 14, gave school a miss today to deliver a very special message - and flowers - to Meghan. He just has to be home by 4.

 

Yesterday's news of a royal baby only made him more excited.

"I was so happy for her. I wish it was me," he said.

And while his mum let him come down for the day, there was rules. "I have to be home by 4."

- James Weir and Bronte Coy

 

 

SYDNEYSIDERS BEGIN FILING THROUGH SECURITY

The first locals have started filing through security and lining the metal barricades at the base of the Opera House.

Construction workers are putting together the finishing touches on railing and platforms.

Despite the impending chaos, some determined Sydneysiders aren't letting a royal visit mess with their usual routines.

Morning joggers have been getting checked through security just to complete their usual run along the Harbour.

 

The first locals have started filing through security and lining the metal barricades at the base of the Opera House.
The first locals have started filing through security and lining the metal barricades at the base of the Opera House.

- James Weir

 

'I'M SO HAPPY FOR HIM'

The Royal Tour wouldn't be complete without a visit from the woman who famously stole Prince Harry's heart.

Daphne Dunne, the 98-year-old war widow who famously stole a kiss from Harry when he visited in 2015, is camped outside the Opera House waiting for him.

"I don't think he's changed very much," she told The Today Show this morning. When asked what makes him so special, she said: "Oh, he's a natural. He just loves what he's doing. It seems to fit in with everything he says. I'm very happy for him. I'm glad he's got a wife now, and soon a bubba."

Oh - and she also said he smells "quite nice".

 

The Royal Tour wouldn’t be complete without a visit from the woman who famously stole Prince Harry’s heart.
The Royal Tour wouldn’t be complete without a visit from the woman who famously stole Prince Harry’s heart.

Asked what the pair spoke about during their 2015 encounter, she said he was drawn to her late husband's Victoria Cross, which she was wearing.

"He said, 'That's what attracted me over here'. I said, 'Well you should, because your mother, you know, produces them to us'. He said, 'I'm glad I came over.'

"And we were chatting for a little while and they kept saying to him, 'We've got to go, we've got to go', and he didn't worry about that. He just continued on with what he was doing, which was talking to me, and then when he started to go he gave me a kiss on the cheek. And then he came back later and gave me another one because I was lop-sided, and had to have another kiss to put me right."

Asked if she had any gifts for them, Daphne said: "Flowers and that they will be very, very happy. I think that's more important than any gift - to wish them happiness."

Bless.

 

'WE HAD NO IDEA THEY WERE COMING'

Engaged couple Diego Wang, 22, and Hannah Li, 25, thought it would be a "quiet day" to take some pre-wedding photographs on the steps of the Opera House.

"We had no idea they were coming," Wang laughed about the royal couple's Harbour visit.

"We thought it would be quiet and not too many people - but when we got here we found out they were arriving."

 

Engaged couple Diego Wang, 22, and Hannah Li, 25, thought it would be a “quiet day” to take some pre-wedding photographs on the steps of the Opera House.
Engaged couple Diego Wang, 22, and Hannah Li, 25, thought it would be a “quiet day” to take some pre-wedding photographs on the steps of the Opera House.

The students, who are getting married at home in China next year, decided two months ago to take professional photographs in their wedding outfits in front of the iconic landmark.

Arriving at the Opera House in full gown and suit, they're the only couple who could take the attention off the royals today.

Locals have been slowly arriving this morning, moving through security checks to find prime viewing spots when the Duke and Duchess arrive by boat later today.

- James Weir

 

POLICE WAITING OUTSIDE ADMIRALTY HOUSE

An official motorcade of 11 police motorcycles arrived to Admiralty House in Sydney's Kirribilli just before 7.30am, escorting two vehicles through the front gates.

Duties have well and truly started with around 20 police officers manning the gates ahead of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's first official engagement with Governor General Peter Cosgrove.

 

 

Volunteers have arrived at the site, but all are declining to comment at this stage.

- Vanessa Brown

 

 

MEGHAN 'DID NOT TELL' FATHER ABOUT PREGNANCY

When Duchess Meghan broke her baby news to the Royal Family, her mother Doria was thrilled.

The 62-year-old issued a statement last night saying she was "very happy at this lovely news and is looking forward to welcoming her first grandchild".

But according to royal reporters, Kensington Palace refused to comment on whether Meghan's father, Thomas Markle, had also been told in advance.

 

Now, sources are claiming he didn't find out until Kensington Palace announced it to the world last night.

"Meghan did not tell Thomas Markle about the pregnancy," a source told Us Weekly just hours after the announcement. "He found out the same time as the rest of the world."

Meghan's strained relationship with her father has been well-noted since the wedding. The 74-year-old has previously referred to the royal family as "cult-like" and compared them to the Church of Scientology, and he did not attend the couple's nuptials.

 

By contrast, the source said Meghan gave her mum Doria Ragland the good news straight away.

"Doria is so delighted about the news of her first grandchild," the source told Us. "Doria has been helping Meghan through this time in her life immensely. Meghan really looks to Doria for all advice in anything she does."

Thomas was spotted shopping alone for groceries in San Ysidro, California, as the pair announced the news to the Royal Family on Friday, the day of Princess Eugenie's wedding.

He was spotted buying beers, pot pies and firewood from the store near his home in Rosarito, Mexico, and appeared to be in high spirits, The Daily Mail reports.

 

 

PIPPA MIDDLETON ARRIVES AT LINDO WING

Heavily-pregnant Pippa Middleton has spotted arriving at the Lindo Wing maternity unit, just days after the royal wedding.

The younger sister of the Duchess of Cambridge is said to have been joined at the private hospital with her financier husband James Matthews, The Sun reports.

Hubby James was pictured carrying two overnight bags as they entered the wing - a £78 Cam Cam Copenhagen baby changing bag and another holdall.

Eyewitnesses say Pippa, 35, was seen smiling as she entered the Lindo Wing, where her nephews Prince George and Prince Louis and niece Princess Charlotte were born.

 

Heavily-pregnant Pippa Middleton has spotted arriving at the Lindo Wing maternity unit, just days after the royal wedding.
Heavily-pregnant Pippa Middleton has spotted arriving at the Lindo Wing maternity unit, just days after the royal wedding.

Pippa has already visited the exclusive Lindo Wing, where Kate Middleton gave birth to all three of her children.

The Duchess of Cambridge posed on the steps of the ward with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, shortly after each of their births.

The Lindo Wing is believed to be valued at £7500-per-night ($AU14,000).

The pricey ward is popular with royals, with Princess Diana having both of her children there, and she also stood for photos on the steps with Prince William and Harry.

Pippa and James were spotted visiting the wing, in St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, which is a stone's throw from their £17 million ($AU31.3 million) mansion in Chelsea earlier on in her pregnancy.

- Lauren Fruen

 

DUKE AND DUCHESS EXPECTING A BABY

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, is pregnant with her first child and will give birth in the British spring next year.

The confirmation ends days of speculation about whether the 37-year-old and Prince Harry, 34, were about to become parents.

 

The world has gone wild over the happy news, but Aussies will be the first to congratulate the pair in person, with the royals beginning their 16-day tour of Australia today.

Rumours have been floating since Princess Eugenie's wedding on Friday, where Meghan wore a loose-fitting navy coat. When she didn't take off her jacket in the church, speculation started up.

The rumours continued when the pair touched down in Sydney yesterday and Meghan was pictured carrying a stack of binder folders in front of her stomach.

"Victoria" is top of the bookies odds on girls' names, while "James" is leading the way for boys.



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