British Prince Harry arrives in Australia to serve last deployment in ArmyCanberra: A cheerful Prince Harry shook hands and chatted with hundreds of cheering fans outside Australia's national war memorial on Monday during the British royal's only scheduled public appearance of a month-long attachment to the
Canberra: A cheerful Prince Harry shook hands and chatted with hundreds of cheering fans outside Australia's national war memorial on Monday during the British royal's only scheduled public appearance of a month-long attachment to the Australian army.
Young and old members the public gathered over hours in cool and drizzling weather in Canberra outside the Australian War Memorial where Harry laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier then strolled the museum's World War I and Afghanistan galleries.
Some welcomed the ginger-haired fourth in line to the British throne, who will soon shift to fifth place with the birth of his brother Prince William's second child, with a large, light-hearted banner that said: "Redheads RULE!"
Harry stopped for a chat with the redheaded owner of the sign, 12-year-old Ethan.
"He was just like: 'Being a redhead just has to be the No. 1 thing one person can ever be,'" Ethan told Nine Network television of his conversation with the prince.
Despite the light rain, Harry appeared relaxed and took his time chatting with eager members of the public who either extended cell phones to take a photographs or hands to be grasped.
He drew laughs when he urged a teenage admirer to break the habit shared by many young people of photographing themselves.
"Seriously, you need to get out of it. I know you're young, but selfies are bad," Nine recorded him saying.
Harry arrived at Sydney International Airport early Monday dressed in army fatigues, and changed into a dress uniform for the official functions at the memorial.
The 30-year-old veteran of two tours in Afghanistan later reported for duty to Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, who is Australia's Defense Force Chief, at the nearby Australian military officers' college.
Captain Harry Wales, as he is known in the British army, will be embedded with a number of Australian army units and regiments in the cities of Sydney, Darwin and Perth.
He and his father Prince Charles will also attend centenary commemorations on April 25 in Turkey of the ill-fated invasion of Gallipoli peninsula during World War I in which Commonwealth forces under British command, including a joint Australian and New Zealand army, suffered heavy casualties.
Harry, an Apache helicopter pilot, will be attached to an aviation squadron in the east coast city of Sydney and work with the elite Special Air Service Regiment, including Afghanistan veterans, in the west coast city of Perth. He will have to pass Australian certification testing before he is allowed to pilot any Australian aircraft.
In the northern city of Darwin, which will become a training hub for 1,050 U.S. Marines in the coming weeks, Harry will work with a predominantly Aboriginal infantry regiment, the North-West Mobile Force, better known as NORFORCE.
NORFORCE patrols vast tracts of Australia's sparsely populated northern tropical wilderness covering 1.8 million square kilometers (695,000 square miles). They use traditional indigenous skills including tracking in their surveillance work.
Harry's third visit to Australia will be the last deployment of his decade-old military career that ends in June.
He spent three months working on an Outback cattle ranch as a jackaroo - an apprentice cowboy - during a gap year in 2003 after he graduated from Eton College. He returned to Sydney in 2013 to officiate at the International Fleet Review.
He will visit New Zealand when he leaves Australia about May 9.