The Duchess of Sussex has decided to cut back on some parts of her first major royal tour after announcing earlier in the week that she’s expecting her first child.
The announcement came from Kensington Palace after Prince Harry attended a cycling event in Sydney’s botanic gardens for the Invictus Games; his wife Meghan was due to be there with him.
In a statement, the palace said: “After a busy programme, the duke and duchess have decided to cut back the duchess’s schedule slightly for the next couple of days, ahead of the final week-and-a-half of the tour.
“The duke will attend the cycling as scheduled this morning, and the duchess will join him for this afternoon’s engagements. The duke will continue with the engagements on Fraser Island as planned.”
Meghan pulled out of an arranged meeting with Invictus Games competitors to rest after Saturday’s ceremony overran by nearly two hours, leaving the duke to present the medals alone on Sunday morning.
But in the afternoon, Meghan did make it to an Invictus reception hosted by Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the city’s central parkland, The Domain.
A royal source said the duchess was “not sick, just tired”, and was keen to take part in everything.
The source added: “We have to try to pace her. We have to make sure she is well-paced and not overdoing it.
“She had a very late night last night. She wants to do everything, but Prince Harry is encouraging her to pace herself.
“We want to make sure she gets enough rest at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day. If it has been a very late night due to unforeseen circumstances, we have to adjust for that.”
The baby news was announced on the eve of the duke and duchess’s first official visit outside the UK and Ireland.
Meghan will fly to Fraser Island for the next stop on their tour, but Harry will carry out the planned programme of events on his own.
It’s also anticipated that she will still fly on to Fiji and Tonga, but there may be further changes to her programme.
This is the first major overseas royal tour for the couple since they got married in May. Over 16 days they are travelling to Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand, with a packed programme of over 70 engagements.
At Sunday’s Invictus event, Harry shared a laugh with one Australian athlete who appeared to ask him to sign a pair of swimming trunks – known to Australians as “budgie smugglers”.
Later, Harry actually did put on a pair of trunks – but over his jeans. They were presented to him by disabled sports presenter Dylan Alcott and two members of the Australian Invictus team at Admiralty House.
Mr Alcott, who is a triple Paralympic gold medallist in wheelchair tennis and wheelchair basketball, said: “[Harry] said: ‘Shall I put them on?’. We said: ‘One hundred per cent’. So he put them on. Good on him!”