The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, at Government House in Melbourne. (Photo: Kensington Palace)

Harry and Meghan wow Melbourne

Forget the rain – in Melbourne today it was all about the royals.

This was the latest stop in a week that has been a blessing for Australia’s true romantics.

For those needing their faith restored in matters of the heart – after Nick Cummins, aka the Honey Badger, disappointed viewers during the recent season finale of The Bachelor Australia – it didn’t take long for the perfect tonic to come along, with the arrival in Australia of Prince Harry and new bride Meghan Markle coinciding with the announcement that they are expecting their first child.

The Duke and Duchess arrived in Melbourne for a whirlwind visit on Thursday morning after two days of appearances in Sydney and the NSW country town of Dubbo.

They began their Melbourne visit at Government House, with a reception with young Victorian community leaders and a demonstration from members of the “That Girl Can” health and fitness campaign.

They also visited a school in Albert Park, and Charcoal Lane, Mission Australia’s social enterprise restaurant in Fitzroy.

Their trip to the southern capital ended later on Thursday with a tram ride to South Melbourne beach.

Their visit to Melbourne saw Harry and Meghan follow in the footsteps of Harry’s brother, his father and late mother, and his grandparents.

It is Australia’s second royal visit of the year: Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, opened the Commonwealth Games in April, though the heir to the throne and his wife have not visited Melbourne since attending the Melbourne Cup in 2012.

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Prince William made a solo visit to Melbourne in 2011, when he visited victims of the Black Saturday fires.

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On his first official visit with wife Kate and baby George in 2014, William did not make it to the Victorian capital.

Also in 2011, the Queen and Prince Philip visited Federation Square – and also took a ride on a tram. It was a somewhat sombre visit for royal followers in Australia, as it was rumoured it might be the couple’s last visit to Australia. Their first official royal tour was in 1954.

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Among the most memorable royal visits to Melbourne was the 1985 tour by Harry’s parents, the Prince and Princess of Wales – famous in particular for Charles’ and Diana’s dazzling spin around a dance floor at a charity ball, a show of public affection that flew in the face of tabloid rumours that the doomed royal marriage was in trouble.

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After leaving Melbourne on Thursday night, Harry and Meghan will return to Sydney, where they will visit Bondi Beach, climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge and attend the opening of the Invictus Games. The tour then takes them to Queensland, before they depart for Fiji. They will be back in Sydney for the closing of the Games on October 27, before rounding off their tour with a three-day trip to New Zealand.