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Harry and Meghan receive first baby gifts as they begin royal tour in Sydney

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been given the first toys for their unborn baby during the opening day of their tour in Australia.

Harry and Meghan were also introduced to their namesake koalas, were greeted by thousands of well-wishers outside the iconic Sydney Opera House and watched a dance performance on the first day of a 16-day tour.

The couple, who announced on Monday they are expecting their first baby next spring, will also take in New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga on their first official trip outside the UK and Ireland as a married couple.

Australia’s Governor General Peter Cosgrove gives the Duke and Duchess of Sussex a toy kangaroo – with a baby – at Admiralty House. Credit: PA

Kensington Palace announced the news on the eve of the tour, and the parents-to-be received a soft kangaroo and joey from his Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove and his wife, Lady Cosgrove.

“Our first baby gift!” Meghan, who was wearing an ivory Karen Gee dress, said, while Harry was handed a pair of Ugg boots, which he described as “awesome”.

The couple were greeted at Admiralty House by flag-bearing representatives from the 18 countries who will be competing at the Invictus Games in Sydney.

Several of them congratulated the couple on their baby news, with Meghan, who was wearing a bracelet and earrings which belonged to Diana, replying: “Thank you so much. We are very excited.”

While their unborn baby got a kangaroo and a pair of boots, Harry and Meghan were given Akubra hats. Credit: PA

The dignitaries also presented Harry and Meghan with Akubras – traditional wide-brimmed Australian hats – which were gifted to them for their wedding in May.

At Taronga Zoo, the couple got the chance to meet Harry and Meghan, two joeys which were named after the couple to mark their nuptials earlier in the year.

Meghan said the koalas were “so, so sweet”, while Harry reached to pet one of the animals and asked about their diet and sleeping habits.

The pair also encountered other wildlife at the zoo on the shores of Sydney Harbour, with staff showing off wallabies, quokkas and a short-legged echidna, who seemed very taken by the royal guests.

The duke seemed concerned about the animal’s wellbeing in a room full of cameras, asking of its nose: “The snot, is that a good thing or stress?”

“It’s OK, he’s drooling out of excitement,” the scientists told him. “And he’s just been fed.”

The couple also met koalas on the first day of their visit to Australia Credit: PA

The Duke opened the Taronga Institute of Science and Learning before the couple got the chance to take in the sights of the city on a boat ride across the harbour to the Opera House.

There, they spent more than the allotted 20 minutes greeting crowds in the sunshine, with Harry spotting one familiar face in the crowd.

After finding 98-year-old Daphne Dunne in the crowd of around 2,000 people, he said: “I was looking for you earlier and hoped you’d be here, it’s so good to see you again.”

Daphne Dunne waited in the pouring rain to see Prince Harry in 2017. Credit: PA

Mrs Dunne, who saw Harry during his 2015 and 2017 visits to Australia, was able to congratulate both the duke and duchess on their baby news, with Meghan saying that next time the couple were in Australia they “might have our little one with us”.

Huge crowds gathered outside the Sydney Opera House to catch a glimpse of the royal couple. Credit: AP

War widow Mrs Dunne’s first husband, Lieutenant Albert Chowne, died aged 25 in 1945 during an attack on a Japanese machine gun post in Papua New Guinea.

He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross which Mrs Dunne was wearing when she first met Harry.

Meghan said: “I’m so glad I got to meet you. Harry has told me all about you and your special bond, it’s so lovely you came to see us, thank you.”

Mrs Dunne said: “It was lovely to meet the duchess, Meghan. Harry is a wonderful man and I’m so happy he had found happiness, they both deserve the absolute world together.”

After meeting the crowds, the Duke and Duchess returned to Admiralty House for an afternoon reception hosted by Sir Peter and Lady Cosgrove and attended by Australians representing business, charities, arts and sports.

In a bid to make everyone feel at home, the Duke started his speech saying: "G'day your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen."

He continued: "It is obviously great to be back in Australia and even more so because this is my wife's first visit here, so I'm very excited to show her this wonderful country of yours.

"Australia is of course home to some of the world's best sporting talent, but what you are about to see at these Invictus Games will, quite literally, astound you.

"A demonstration of the power of the human spirit, the power of sport to change lives and the power of feeling part of all of this from the stands.

"There really is something for everyone.

"Thank you Your Excellency and Lady Cosgrove for giving us your magnificent home for the week. We are inviting all of our mates in Sydney...

"Finally, we are both absolutely delighted to be here.

"We are really impressed to see you serving beer and tea at an afternoon reception in true Aussie style.

"We couldn't think of a better place to announce the upcoming baby."

Back in the UK, the Prince of Wales visited a whisky distillery with a historic royal connection.

Charles met staff at Royal Lochnagar Distillery in Crathie, Aberdeenshire, when he toured the premise on Tuesday.

When asked whether he had already made a toast to the royal baby, he jokingly responded, "Oh yes, absolutely. Several times at the moment!"

On Wednesday Australia time, Harry and Meghan will travel to Dubbo in New South Wales where they will celebrate 90 years of the Royal Flying Doctor Service.