A five-year-old boy stole the show as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived in Dubbo for the second day of their overseas tour.
Luke Vincent gave Prince Harry a hug and rubbed the 34-year-old’s beard, before Meghan also got a hug.
The Buninyong Public School pupil was among the 150-strong welcoming party for the royal visit to the New South Wales city, 190 miles from Sydney.
School principal Anne Van Darrel said the youngster was mesmerised with Harry’s facial hair.
She said: “He got a hug from Meghan and then Harry bent down to speak to him and Luke didn’t give him any choice!”
“Luke’s favourite person in the world is Santa Claus, who has a beard. So he rubbed Harry’s beard.
“It’s been a wonderful experience for these little country kids to meet people they’ve only ever seen on TV.”
Harry and Meghan also met Royal Flying Doctor Service volunteers and unveiled a new plane to mark the service’s 90 years.
Kensington Palace said the Duke was keen to visit regional Australia during the tour, the couple’s first outside the UK and Ireland.
Meghan's pregnancy was announced by Kensington Palace on the eve of her and the Duke of Sussex's 16-day tour which will take in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga.
During a visit to the drought-affected city of Dubbo, she spoke to farmer Emily Carroll about motherhood and made a fuss of her baby Ruby.
The 33-year-old said: "They both had a little tickle with her. She's normally in bed at 10.30am but we had to stay up for this. She's done so well.
"Meghan told me that she's feeling pretty good so far, which is great, and that she's running on adrenaline."
The Duke of Sussex praised Dubbo's resistance in dealing with recent hard droughts in a speech as the rains poured in the city.
Harry joked "I've got my wife" as he was offered an umbrella before taking to the lectern at Dubbo's Victoria Park, as Meghan provided shelter from his side.
He also quipped that the "rain was a gift" as hundreds of people from the region turned out to see the royal visitors.
The much-needed rain began to fall about 10 minutes before their arrival and only got worse as they viewed stalls at the picnic in Victoria Park.
Addressing the crowd, he said: "You people are the salt of the earth, hard working and as tough as they come.
"I know that life has not been easy. You have just lived through two years of drought."
To laughter from the crowd, he said: "Despite recent welcome rain, it is going to take a lot more and a long time to recover.
"You are all the toughest people out there, the most persistent, the ones who can weather the storm or the drought."
The rain put paid to plans of outdoor activities at their last engagement of the day at the Clontarf Academy.
Students had planned to participate in a session of netball and touch football drills on the school oval, highlighting the importance of sport in education.
But as the downpour started, the sports demonstrations were abandoned and the pupils rushed over to meet the royal couple under a covered area.
Harry told pupils at the academy, which aims to improve the life skills, self-esteem, and employment prospects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young men, about the importance of talking to friends about personal problems.
The duke, who has spoken in the past about his own mental issues, said: "There is a stigma still attached from our parents and grandparents' time not to talk about mental health."
During their day visit to Dubbo, the parents-to-be also met the Woodley family, who have been at their farm since 1887.
Their area of New South Wales has been experiencing the most prolonged period of drought since records began in 1900.
Scott, 57, and Elaine, 56, said they had greatly appreciated the couple’s visit, although had been somewhat shell-shocked at being chosen.
Mr Woodley said: “They were very interested to hear what we have been coping with the last few years.
“We can cope with a few months of drought but this has been two years and the hay has already been affected for next year.
“They seemed to understand exactly what we have been going through.”
Daughter Laura, 23, described the royal visit as “a bit surreal”, adding: “It was an honour and a privilege.”
The family said Meghan had made a cake for them, which they said was “incredibly nice of her”.