celebrity

"I stalked Meghan and Harry for 24 hours in Sydney. This is what happened."

I come from a line of very professional royal correspondents.

A couple of years ago, while travelling in London, my parents coincidentally saw the Queen getting out of a car. They forgot to get a photo or video when she actually stepped out onto the street, but they did get this great quality photo of her sitting in the vehicle.

queen-in-car
Why are you like this.

You cannot see her.

The windows are tinted.

...Why did you stop recording when she actually got out of the car?

I can't.

But over the last 24 hours, I've had the opportunity to become a royal correspondent myself. And by 'opportunity,' I mean no one asked me, and I just straight up decided to stalk Meghan Markle and Prince Harry during their time in Sydney.

This is my diary:

Monday

Noon: After seeing countless photos of Meghan and Harry as they landed in Australia, I'm struck by a sudden and unexpected feeling: I randomly care a lot that they're here. 

Was this on purpose or no?
This feeling... is random.
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My reasons include:

  • Meghan's face
  • Harry's face
  • Suits
  • The royal wedding
  • Meghan's hair

I make a decision.

6pm: I get in the car with the intention of driving past the house Meghan and Harry are staying at in Kirribilli. I read somewhere it's called Admiralty House, and it turns out it's on the way to where I'm going. (It's not. I'm not going anywhere.)

I kidnap my sister, and she's confused about why we're driving over the Harbour Bridge. Eventually we get there, and the Australian Federal Police van and lone news reporter gives away the fact we're somewhere we... shouldn't be.

I tell her we should wait to see whether they come outside. She tells me that's probably illegal. I get nervous and accidentally drive down a one way street where a man in a fancy car swears at me.

harry-meghan
Helllllooooo

I hope Harry and Meghan didn't see.

I'm surprised there's not more people doing a casual drive-by of the house, but then I realise: that's actually a super bogan thing to do. 

That's why you're the only one doing it.

Most people are just living their lives, unperturbed by the fact there's royalty nearby.

Except for this guy in an apartment a few doors down:

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meghan-harry-kirribilli
Oh... hi.

He knows what's up.

But nevermind him - because I have a plan.

8pm: Meghan and Harry are going to be at the Opera House tomorrow in the 'late-morning'. First they're going to cuddle koalas at Taronga Zoo (obviously), then they're watching some dance inside the Opera House, then they're meeting the people outside.

I... I could be one of those people.

Excuse me. I need an early night.

Tuesday

7am: This is almost a full hour before I usually get up for work but I jump out of bed. My dog is confused, but I whisper to him, 'Mummy's seeing Meghan and Harry today.' He understands.

7.30am: I've had a shower and put clothes on, but tbh, I feel like I look pretty gross considering I might just meet royalty later.

BUT THERE'S NO TIME.

I order an Uber because it's early and it's a very special occasion.

Watch the moment I met Meghan and Harry. Like actually.

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7.45am: My Uber driver asks if I'm going to work. I'm embarrassed about what I'm really up to so I say yes. He casually mentions that 'Meghan and William' will be at the Opera House today. I smile calmly, but I want to yell, IT'S HARRY YOU MORON. WILLIAM CLEARLY HAS HIS HANDS FULL WITH HIS THREE CHILDREN GEORGE CHARLOTTE AND LOUIS.

7.50am: I'm... here. People have signs that say 'Sparkle like Markle'. I do not have a sign.

Other people also have water/snacks/breakfast. I forgot about all these things.

meghanharry
Damn it.

8.30am: I've found a spot and start to make myself comfortable.

8.33am: I'm given a sign by two guys handing them out to everyone. About an hour later, my sign is confiscated. It's unclear why.

9.41am: This was definitely more fun in my head. It's cold and windy and my nose is running. I have no tissues because of course I don't.

10.06am: I start to eavesdrop on people's conversations. They're discussing a) how lovely it was that Meghan waited to announce her pregnancy until after Princess Eugenie's wedding, b) how proud Diana would be of Harry, and c) what they'll say to Meghan and Harry when they meet them. The most popular choice is 'hi' followed by 'congratulations'.

10.10am: MEGHAN AND HARRY ARE STILL AT THE ZOO WATCHING A SLEEPING KOALA AND PLS DON'T THEY KNOW I'M WAITING.

10.30am: I become transfixed by a man on the roof.

meghan-harry-security
What doing?
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10.42am: People keep walking where Harry and Meghan will be walking except they're not Harry OR Meghan. Stop.

Unknown: EXCUSE ME THEY'VE ARRIVED AND IT TURNS OUT I'M IN PRIME POSITION AND THIS PART CAN ONLY BE CONVEYED VISUALLY.

meghan markle
You're right... there.
meghan markle
You're getting closer goodness.
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meghan
Your... face. Who looks like that.
meghan
Hi I'm Clare yes hi.
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meghan
She's so happy to meet me yes.
prince harry
HARRY PLS.

I GOT TO SHAKE BOTH THEIR HANDS AND THEN I YELLED 'CONGRATULATIONS' A LITTLE TOO LOUDLY.

A woman on one side of me asked Meghan how she was feeling and she said, "I'm feeling very well thank you," and Meghan told the woman on the other side of me that her NECKLACE WAS PRETTY.

I wasn't wearing a necklace otherwise I'm sure she would've told me the same thing.

This is the hand that shook the hands of both Meghan and Harry, and no, I shan't be washing it.

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I'm so sorry anyone had to shake this.
I'm so sorry anyone had to shake this.

There's one element of the entire stalking saga I had planned to keep to myself, but since you're here, I'll let you in on the secret.

Yes, I shared a special moment with Meghan.

Yes, she told me what she's going to name her baby.

Oh.

Meghan pls, you don't need to make a decision right now.

It can wait.

Follow Clare Stephens on Instagram for a play-by-play of her 24 hours stalking the royals.

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