Posted on October 19, 2018
Prince Harry kicks off 2018 Invictus Games by climbing to top of Sydney Harbour Bridge
Prince Harry joined Prime Minister Scott Morrison to climb the landmark on day four of his Royal Tour with Meghan Markle
The Duke of Sussex’s tour of Australia reached new heights – as he and three Invictus Games competitors climbed the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Under sunny skies, Harry swapped the New South Wales standard for the Invictus flag at the top of the bridge, which sits 134 metres above the water.
The Duke took 13 minutes to ascend the 464 steps to the top of the bridge along the east side, before crossing the central walkway to raise the flag which flapped in the breeze.
Among those joining the Duke and Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the summit of the bridge were three Australians who will be showing what they are made of at the Games, which open on Saturday.
Luke Hill, a swimmer, who was deployed to Timor-Leste three times, Captain Ruth Hunt, who will take part in the indoor rowing and swimming, and Peter Rudland, who deployed to Cambodia, twice to Iraq, twice to Timor Leste and Afghanistan, and will compete in the cycling and wheelchair rugby all made their way to the top of the bridge for the flag ceremony.
Also climbing the structure built in 1932, was Gwen Cherne, who is an ambassador for the Games.
Her husband Peter Cafe served in Cambodia, Afghanistan and Iraq and took his own life in February this year. Since then, Ms Cherne has become an Invictus and War Widows Guild ambassador.
However his wife Meghan didn’t join him for the exciting challenge, and it might be because she’s pregnant with her first child.
To climb the enormous steel arch bridge, expectant mothers must provide a certificate of fitness that is signed by their GP.
However it is completely off limits for women more than 24 weeks pregnant.
The couple’s debut Royal Tour as a married couple coincides with the Games, and they will be watching several of the events during their stay in the city.
Founded by the prince, they are an international paralympic-style event for military personnel wounded in action.
At last year’s games Prince Harry officially introduced the world to his new girlfriend Meghan by bringing her along to one of the events.
The 2018 event will run until October 27.
Later today Harry and Meghan will make calls on the Leader of the Opposition at Admiralty House and the Prime Minister at Kirribilli House.
The parents-to-be started the day at Bondi Beach where they met surfing community group OneWave, which raises awareness for mental health and wellbeing.
After being presented with colourful garlands, the couple joined an ‘anti bad vibes circle’ where the prince joked that he ‘felt under-dressed’ for the occasion.
Harry also told the group: “Each and every one of us will experience poor mental health, it doesn’t discriminate.”
During their morning engagement at the beach Meghan, who was wearing a striped monochrome dress by Australian designer Martin Grant, told the group that she got up at 4.30am this morning to do yoga.
She explained it was “so good for healing your mind” and said how being pregnant is “like having jet lag without actually travelling”.
They then travelled to a MacArthur Girls High School to meet pupils, and Meghan changed her outfit and hairstyle for the afternoon’s engagements.
She swapped her floaty outfit for a blue dress by London-based designer Roksanda and told pupils about her first job.
She said: “My first job when I was 14, I remember taking out the trash, all sorts. It give you a good work ethic, right?”
Meghan told students that their projects, including making boxes of supplies for women in need, made her proud.
She told the group of 14-year-old girls: “You guys all remind me so much of myself when I was growing up.
“I went to an all girls school which was incredibly diverse as well.