Adoring fans offered a soaking Prince Harry a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit as he greeted crowds in the rain during his whirlwind visit to Sydney to launch the 2018 Invictus Games.
The 32-year-old prince stopped for handshakes and selfies with drenched fans, and even received a kiss from one 97-year-old war widow who planted a smooch on him the last time he visited the city in 2015.
Harry is taking part in a two-day visit to Sydney in order to launch the countdown to the Games, the Olympic-style event for wounded veterans which he is a patron of.
Speaking alongside Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Governor General Peter Cosgrove, Harry paid tribute to the victims of the terror attack in Manchester, where 22 died, and London, with two Australians now known to be among the seven killed there.
‘When a bomb left a number of people with life-changing injuries in Manchester last month, wounded veterans, including Invictus team members, immediately offered themselves up to provide advice and support to the victims through their recovery process,’ Harry said.
‘The commitment to serve is ingrained in every member of the armed forces and is the embodiment of the Invictus spirit,’ he added.
Harry urged host-city Sydney to get behind the games before making his way to the harbour where he watched a display of sailing – a new sport that will be added to the roster of events for the games in October next year.
As he stepped off the boat, he walked up the jetty and began shaking hands with the waiting royal fans.
Isabel Whitehead, who works at The Tea Cosy cafe in The Rocks, headed down to Sydney Harbour with her colleagues in a bid to win the royal’s heart.
She offered the 32-year-old a cup of tea dainty floral cup along, while another fan handed him a Tim Tam chocolate biscuit.
‘We decided to bring Prince Harry some delicious scones and tea today because obviously the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,’ Ms Whitehead told Daily Mail Australia.
She and her colleagues waved signs, one reading: ‘Rain, hail, shine! Be mine.’
Another framed banner promised the prince free scones if he visited the teahouse – along with the ‘hand in marriage of any of our beautiful waitresses’.
‘Maybe he’ll be interested in one of the waitresses,’ Ms Whitehead added.
Hundreds of Harry fans lined up in the pouring rain to see the 32-year-old, some for the second time when he stopped by Campbell’s Cove, flanked by Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Veteran Affairs Minister David Elliott.
Superfan Victoria McRae who stole a kiss from the prince when they met during his visit to Sydney two years ago returned wearing the same crown she wore back then, but it didn’t appear she was so lucky this time.
But a war widow who was first in line to meet Prince Harry at Campbell Cove Jetty on Wednesday afternoon was delighted to see him for a second time.
Daphne Dunne, 97, waited with an esky of beers to see him and despite the torrential downpour, she told Daily Mail Australia: ‘He’s worth waiting for – even in the pouring rain!’
The prince and the widow were seen embracing like old friends when they met again, just over two years since their first encounter.
That meeting came as Harry ended his month-long attachment with the Australian Defence Force in May 2015, and Ms Dunne nabbed a kiss on the cheek after he noticed the Victoria Cross she wore and came over to talk.
‘This time, I got a kiss on the opposite side, so it wouldn’t be lopsided,’ she said.
‘He was lovely. He gave me a hug and a kiss and said it was great to see me.
‘He was so pleased to see me and he worked out in his own mind that it’s just gone two years [since we last met].
‘He asked if I ever take my medals off and I said, ‘Yes, to go to bed.’
She wore a whole host of medals on her jacket, including her first husband Albert Chowne’s Victoria Cross, which was awarded to him posthumously after he died in Papua New Guinea in 1945 during the Second World War.
Asked if she offered him a beer from the cool box by her side, she said: ‘No, he didn’t have time and he was soaking wet.’