Evening Standard 21 hours ago
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A young woman wept tears of joy when Prince Harry broke royal protocol to give her a hug during his visit to Melbourne.
India Brown, 19, was overcome with emotion when the Duke of Sussex embraced her after she had waited hours to greet him and Meghan during their tour of Australia.
The university student revealed that Harry told her “you are going to get me in trouble” after she mentioned she knew the hug was against protocol.
Brandishing a sign saying, ‘Been here since 4am, loved you since I was 8’, she was part of a crowd of nearly 5,000 fans who had queued up at Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens.
She later told reporters she had looked up to the prince for “many, many years” and described the hug as “awesome”.
The Duke of Sussex hugs India Brown at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne (PA)
Harry and Meghan, who was wearing a navy blue dress by Australian brand Dion Lee with a camel-coloured trench coat and black stilettos, abandoned their strict scheduling to meet well-wishers for 25 minutes.
Gifts, including toys, flags and flowers, were given to the parents-to-be as a group sang Stand By Me, the gospel song performed at the royal wedding in May.
The Duke of Sussex broke royal protocol when he gave the university student a hug (PA)
One of the larger presents of the day came from Courtney Pistone, 10, who held a large teddy over the barriers and handed it to Meghan for her unborn baby.
She said: “I gave it to her for the nursery. I thought it would be suitable because we didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl and both boys and girls like bears.”
India Brown held a sign saying: ‘Been here since 4am, loved you since I was 8’ (AFP/Getty Images)
The duke and duchess stopped to play with five-and-a-half-month-old Harriet Bonaddido and chatted with her mother, 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.”
Other signs including ‘Worth the detention’ and ‘Fresh Prince with red hair’ were held aloft as the royal party made their way through the botanical gardens to Government House.
They are on a 16-day tour which will see them also visit New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga, as well as catching the Invictus Games.