Hundreds of people gathered on the beach bright and early this morning to see the couple. Harry and Meghan travelled from their Sydney base, Admiralty House, arriving shortly after 8 am. After being presented with colourful leis, Harry joked he felt “under-dressed”. Harry helped Meghan to remove her wedges and walk barefoot on the sand.
Harry was greeted with a hug by founder Grant.
An arrival video.
A local police officer getting into the spirit.
The Duke and Duchess met a local surfing community group known as OneWave, who raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing in a fun and engaging way. They participated in the “Fluro Friday anti bad vibes” session, where people of all ages share their experiences of mental health issues, and will have the opportunity to interact with others enjoying yoga and surfing.
‘Prince Harry, who become known for his mental health advocacy and co-founded the charity Heads Together in 2016, told the group mental issues don’t discriminate.
‘Harry said each and everyone of us will experience poor mental health at some stage in our lives,’ said Charlotte Connell, 35. Harry said ”it took me not six months, but 18 months to find the right person to speak to; you’re not going to find the right person to speak to straight away’. In recent years, Harry has opened up about own struggles following the death of his mother, Princess Diana, in 1997 when he was just 12.’
Lizzie Robinson reports Meghan told guests she woke up 4.30 am to do yoga and that it was “so good for healing your mind”.
Fellow expectant mum Charlotte Waverley chatted to Meghan: “She told me that pregnancy was like having jet lag. She said she was up at 4.30 am this morning doing yoga in her room as she couldn’t sleep. It’s a bit of a double whammy for her, as she has both the baby and jet lag to contend with.”
Meghan discussed the negative impact social media can have. More from News.com:
‘Jessina Oakes, who spent 15 minutes in a yoga group speaking with the royal couple, told news.com.au Meghan said “criticism and flattery all come through the same filter of social media”.
“She said, ‘We always hold on to the negative. There is always this amazing feedback, but we hold onto the criticism’,” Jessina said Meghan told the group. “She talked a lot about growing up in terms of this generation and the pressures of social media because there is so much criticism we experience.”
The duchess said yoga helped keep her “grounded”. “She felt connected doing yoga in the mornings,” Jessina said. “Like Harry, she said she felt very fortunate to be able to share positive experiences with groups like OneWave.”
OneWave lets people know they are not alone and encourages them to get in the ocean, surf it out and talk about it.
The organisation holds weekly Fluro Friday sunrise sessions at beaches around the world to raise awareness for mental health. Participants dress up in the brightest outfits possible and surf/swim/do yoga. Fluro makes people smile and it gets them asking important questions about mental health which are normally avoided.
Everyone is welcome and it’s a free event.
OneWave was founded by Grant Trebilco and Sam Schumacher. After 10 years of battling with mental health issues without seeking treatment, Grant was hospitalized in 2012 and diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The ocean and surfing was Grant’s saviour in tough times when he was released from hospital. He discovered that ‘one wave’ is all it takes. After hiding mental health issues for years, he decided enough was enough, and it was time to start talking and sharing his experience to try and help others. “Maybe if I share the simple recipe of saltwater, surfing and talking about mental health I can prevent people from ever feeling the way I did.” So one Friday morning he decided to dress up in a shirt and tie and go surfing solo at Bondi to try to spark conversations about mental health. Sam is not your typical surfing instructor. In fact, he graduated as an aerospace engineer. This calling was overpowered, however, by the pull of helping other people enjoy the ocean and surfboard riding. Sam and Grant became mates over a shared love of surfing and giving people in a funk the chance to experience how good it feels to catch a wave. They have been working on OneWave together since it was founded in February 2013.
Harry and Meghan chatting with Sam and Grant.
OneWave believe “the only way we are going to beat an issue that so many people battle alone, is by standing strong together”. I think they are doing stellar work, and offering a fresh approach and setting to openly discuss mental health against the calming backdrop of beaches.
The Duke and Duchess chatting with surfers.
Emily Andrews reports: Lifeguard Jake Nolan, who has previously met Harry on Bondi Beach, said: “We had a bit of a laugh because last time he was here, he was out for a run and he said ‘Last time I was a bit sweaty when I met you’. “We got them a little lifeguard uniform, mini shorts, mini shirt.”
Harry and Meghan posed for a group photograph. I love the fabulous flowers and smiles all round in this shot.
Afterwards, they met locals gathered on the beach.
A look at some of the gifts they received. I noticed someone gave them a bunch of carrots.
Following the visit, Grant Trebilco said: “It is such an honour to welcome The Duke and Duchess of Sussex to our One Wave community. For five years, we have used bright colours at beaches all over the world to raise awareness of mental health”. Just like the ocean, mental health doesn’t discriminate. It’s ok not to be ok. Mental health is real, so let’s talk about it. We would love more support to help us grow our work beyond the beach and change more lives.” If you would like to find out more or donate please click here.
Meghan chose a maxi dress by Australian designer Martin Grant for the beach visit (with thanks to Food, Fash Fit).
The Pleated Stripe Long Dress features a straight sleeveless neckline and full skirt with pleated detailing.
Heaven swiftly identified Meghan’s wedges as the £80 Castaner Carina canvas wedge espadrilles.
The pair is made from durable black canvas and set on a jute wedge heel with ties at the ankle. They are available at Net-A-Porter.
The Duchess accessorised with two necklaces.
A closer look at Meghan’s earrings.
And Anne notes the Duchess wore the Runaway Stamp Ring by the New Zealand based designer.
The day is off to a great start!
Next, Harry and Meghan will take part in a youth advocate programme that aims to unite and inspire young people to be advocates for cohesion and inclusion in their communities. The Duke and Duchess will also engage with students as they discuss issues including social justice and youth empowerment. Following this event, accompanied by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Invictus Games competitors, Harry will climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge to officially raise the Invictus Flag, marking the arrival of the Invictus Games to Sydney. Their Royal Highnesses will conclude the day with calls to the Leader of the Opposition at Admiralty House and the Prime Minister at Kirribilli House.