Harry and Meghan thrill Sydney royal fans

Duchess of Sussex Meghan greets Daphne outside the Opera House in Sydney on October 16, 2018. Picture: pool Photo/ Dominic Lorrimer/ Fairfax MediaAfter hours of waiting, royal fans were finally able to meet the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the Sydney Opera House. And they weren’t left disappointed.

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Prince Harry and Meghan descended the stairs of the Opera House holding hands as thousands of fans erupted in delight.

The royal couple briefly parted ways to shake hands and warmly embrace some of those who had been waiting since early on Tuesday morning.

After Harry bent down for a young boy and waved to another group of girls they were left beaming and yelled out “we love you Harry”.

Meghan, whose pregnancy was announced on Monday night, wore a beige trench coat over a tight-fitting cream dress by Australian designer Karen Gee that revealed a barely-there baby bump.

Many fans who started lining up outside the Opera House at 7am were rewarded with a royal greeting, including 98-year-old war widow Daphne Dunne, who has met Harry twice before and asked him to introduce her to his new wife.

“Oh my goodness, is this Daphne?” Meghan asked.

“She’s said she had heard all about me, she’s so beautiful,” Mrs Dunne told AAP.

“I wished them well with the baby on the way and said this is what Harry has been waiting for for so long.”

NSW Central Coast woman Megan Jones lined up early in the hope of catching a glimpse of Harry and Meghan.

Ms Jones was nine-years-old when she met Harry’s mother Diana during her trip to Sydney in 1983.

“I went up to her and shook her hand … She had a beautiful energy about her,” Ms Jones told AAP outside the Opera House.

Ms Jones says she sees the same energy in Prince Harry and Meghan.

Craig Gill had been waiting at since 6am in eager anticipation to see the loved up couple.

Mr Gill, wearing a cap signed by Prince William, says the duke and duchess represent something new for the royals

“They’ve lifted the game and turned it around … they’re an exciting new thing to happen,” he told AAP.

The walkabout is the first opportunity for the public to interact with the couple – and to be the first to congratulate them after Kensington Palace announced Meghan’s pregnancy.

Australian fags were flapping furiously in the wind as people waved them in anticipation, brandishing signs with affectionate messages, one young girl declaring “Evie [?]s Harry” on her sign.

Evie Treacy, 6, and her seven-year-old sister Dempsey had stayed up until 1am making their brightly coloured banner.

They had been waiting for nearly five hours to hand the royal couple a teddy bear each as an early gift for their baby.

“We hope the baby turns out just as pretty,” Dempsey told AAP.

The duke and duchess were plied with gifts from well wishers which included koala teddy bears, flowers, T-shirts and CDs.

Patricia Handy and her six-year-old daughter Whata were also lucky enough to brush shoulders with the royals and were both screaming with joy after Meghan shook their hands.

“I can’t even remember what she said … I’m trembling from excitement,” Ms Handy told AAP.

“That’s what you call a real princess.”