Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were in Dubbo today. As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, there’s been two years of drought in Dubbo and it rained on the day that the Sussexes visited. Which is why the headlines have been all about how Harry and Royal Meghan are makin’ it rain on a community that much needs it. Thousands of people came to see them, some travelled four or five hours, taking time off work. Harry spoke sensitively about their experiences as Meghan held an umbrella over his head:
“The rich traditions of the Australian outback are legendary, he said. ''You have a lot to be proud of. But I know that life has not been easy. You have just lived through two years of drought and despite the recent welcome rain it is going to take a lot more and a long time to recover. It must be hard not to lose hope when you endure so many dry months end on end, knowing that you are powerless to do anything about it.
We know that suicide rates in rural and remote areas are greater than in urban populations. Outside all of that, here’s what I also know. You are one huge community and with that comes an unparalleled level of internal support and understanding. All you need to do is to ask for it and your neighbour, your peer, your fellow farmer is literally right around the corner.
You are all the toughest people out there, the most persistent, the ones who can weather the storm or the drought. But 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. Asking for help was one of the best decisions that I ever made. You will be continually be amazed about how 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 those around you.''
Later on, while meeting with young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, Harry asked them about their mental health awareness, whether they talk about it, whether or not they were comfortable talking about it, and it was quiet. This has been what Harry, William, Kate, and Meghan are working on – setting an example, in their positions, about the importance of mental health, challenging the idea that it’s embarrassing to have the conversation, that “real men” don’t feel sad, anxious, confused, lost, and vulnerable.
It wasn’t all serious though. There’s the hug everyone’s talking about with little Luke Winston who went right in for a hug and touched Harry’s beard and his hair before giving Meghan “a cuddle”.
The best though, to me at least, is Harry and the flies. Have you seen this video? Ruth Sandow, from the Royal Flying Doctor Service, was giving a speech and the flies wouldn’t leave her alone. Check out what Harry does. Meghan cracked up – and so did everyone else. He’s ADORABLE:
Even the flies in Dubbo wanted a brush with royalty today. The royal couple shared a laugh with locals as Prince Harry helpfully swatted them away. #RoyalTourAustralia #7News pic.twitter.com/0Hqcwy86TU— 7 News Sydney (@7NewsSydney) October 17, 2018
And he’s happy. Right? Or am I just a goddamn sap? Harry, of course, has always been cute and spontaneous, more personality than we’re used to seeing from royals, but he seems undeniably delighted to be doing all of this with a partner now. And that has taken his game to another level.
Then there’s the banana bread. Meghan brought banana bread she baked herself to the Woodley family during their visit to Mountain View Farm, along with some Royal Blend tea from Fortnum & Mason.
I am here for Caity Weaver’s assessment of this situation in a series of tweets:
Meghan’s face last night when she got the idea to bake the banana bread pic.twitter.com/1oEj8H23et— Caity Weaver (@caityweaver) October 17, 2018
Meghan after she put the lovely ginger in the banana bread pic.twitter.com/pFa7HbLugx— Caity Weaver (@caityweaver) October 17, 2018
It is currently 3:30AM in London which means Kate Middleton will not awake to the news that Meghan Markle immediately baked banana bread for Australia for at least 3 hours.— Caity Weaver (@caityweaver) October 17, 2018
Although the sleeping princess cannot know it, these will be the 3 sweetest hours of the rest of her life https://t.co/VhMWRa6BVT
CHURNING OUT BANANA BREAD ON ADRENALINE SLAY MEGHAN SLAYYYYY SLAY THEM ALLLLL BATHE IN THEIR HOT BLOOD MEGHAN STIR THEIR BLOOD INTO THE BANANA BREAD MEGHAN https://t.co/4sW2SaZoxb— Caity Weaver (@caityweaver) October 17, 2018
My immediate assessment of the situation is a lot more boring: jetlag. All that travel, and pregnant, and you have to be so ON all the time (they’re doing 76 engagements on this tour), and you’ve just travelled I dunno how many hours and that crazy time difference… it’s hard to sleep. When Meghan can’t sleep, she decides she’s going to do the most and bake a loaf of banana bread to set a new standard in all-star royal moves. At this rate, the Queen is going to make that baby a prince or a princess even before it’s born.
One more thing about the rain and what it gave us – how f-cking hot are they!?! This is my new favourite photo of them.