"What you can't help but notice when you're standing in front of Meghan and Harry."

On Tuesday, I decided it would be a good use of my time to stalk the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, during their very short stay in Sydney.

Did I wait four and a half hours at the Opera House to meet them? Yes.

Did I lie to my Uber driver about why I was going to Circular Quay so early in the morning? Also yes.

It all started when I saw the photos of Meghan and Harry as they arrived in Australia on Monday morning. The bogan inside me became overwhelmingly excited that very royal, very famous and very beautiful people would be staying at and/or visiting places just minutes from where I live.

‘My grandmother would want me to do this,’ I told myself, desperately trying to forget her problematic political views. ‘She loved the royal family.’

So selfless.
So selfless.

So I camped out, beside people holding signs that read 'Sparkle like Markle,' and 'Couple Goals,' and I waited.

About two hours in, my research told me Meghan and Harry were STILL at Taronga Zoo pretending to be interested in a sleeping koala, and I started to get impatient. I was waiting. For no reason. They needed to hurry.

Then finally, they arrived.

My first observation was that they have a lot of 'people'. As the crowd watched the Opera House stairs eagerly, hoping to catch the first glimpse of the royal couple, we were disappointed over and over again.


'WHO EVEN ARE YOU,' I wanted to yell at the randoms who emerged first. 'NO ONE CARES WE ONLY CARE ABOUT THE ROYAL ONES.'

Watch the moment Clare met Meghan and Harry. But actually.

But then we saw them, and everyone, but mostly me, went full bogan.

There were gifts. There were flags. There were questions about Meghan's pregnancy. There were thousands of questionably hygienic hands reaching for a handshake. And there were a lot of children who had been brought along for the sole purpose of attracting Meghan and Harry's attention but who, personally, had no f*cking idea who these people were.

meghan markle
You're right... there.
meghan markle
You're getting closer goodness.
Your... face. Who looks like that.
Dat... face.
Hi I'm Clare yes hi.
prince harry

As they walked past me, looked me directly in the soul, and responded to my slightly aggressive CONGRATULATIONS, these were the details I noticed:

  • Both Harry and Meghan look each person who speaks to them straight in the eye. They're not distracted or scanning the crowd as a whole, they give you a genuine moment of their time.
  • They interact with people separately. While they walked down the Opera House stairs side by side, they kept space between them while meeting the crowd. Everyone got to say hi to both Meghan and Harry - with Meghan leading the way.
  • Meghan Markle was very calm. She responded to people's questions about her pregnancy, she complimented the woman next to me on her necklace, and she bent down to speak to several children. She didn't seem flustered or overwhelmed.
  • Prince Harry was a little less serene - but not in a bad way. His eyes were a little red (probably jet lag), and he didn't stop smiling. He listened closely when people spoke to him, and paid attention to every person he walked past.
  • They both seemed polite and relaxed with the people around them. There were flowers and gifts they had to pass to their minders, and they did so carefully and gratefully.
  • YOU COULD SEE THE BUTTERFLY EARRINGS FROM A MILE AWAY. On Tuesday, Meghan was wearing a pair of Diana's earrings, and they immediately stood out.
  • Meghan definitely had an American accent. None of this 'pretending to be British stuff' she gets slammed for.
  • Her face was...  absurdly beautiful. And Prince Harry's height and presence is striking.

Meghan and Harry are clearly exceptionally trained when it comes to interacting with the public. There's no sense that they find the crowds exhausting or annoying - only that they want to shake your hand and hear what you have to say.

And that's a very impressive skill.

Now excuse me while I go back to admiring the hand that did the shake.

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

Read Clare's recap of stalking Meghan and Harry for 24 hours in Sydney. 

You can also follow Clare Stephens on Instagram to see all her photos and videos from her stalking adventures.