HELLO! royal tour diary: day one in Durban

hellomagazine.com

Our day started bright and early on a bus from our hotel in Durban at 7.30am. We had arrived overnight and managed to grab a few hours sleep before Prince Harry's first engagement of the day with The Sharks rugby club.

There was plenty of fun and colour on the pitch, with Harry kicking off his trainers and socks to play barefoot like the local kids.



And he couldn't resist a few digs at former South Africa rugby captain John Smit, now CEO of the club, about the Springboks' performance in the recent Rugby World Cup – although Sharks players were too polite to remind Harry about his side England crashing out of the tournament early.

The prince also raised a laugh when he stuck his head into the "Jaws" of the team's mascot Sharkie, who must have been baking inside his padded suit.



Under a blazing sun and in temperatures of around 33C, it was hard not to get sunburnt on the pitch, so we were grateful to have a slight pause before the next job – a meeting with kids helped by the group Surfers Not Street Children.

Harry drew huge crowds of excited girls and other holidaymakers as he walked onto Addington Beach, near the city centre.

A local news reporter told me that under the Apartheid regime, the strip of sand was divided down the middle, with one side for black people and the other for whites.

Surf's Up! #PrinceHarry and surfers, AddingtonBeach, Durban. #RoyalVisitSA #surfersnotstreetchildren #WorldAIDSDay pic.twitter.com/r0I8u3mo95

— Emily Nash (@emynash) December 1, 2015



But the beach is now open to everyone and bustling with surfers, sunbathers and tourists.

Harry, wearing a beaded red ribbon made by St Joseph’s Care and Support Trust, a hospice for HIV/Aids patients near Pretoria, disappointed some of the gathered ladies by remaining fully clothed and on dry land.

I’m writing this on his flight to Skukuza, Kruger National Park, where his last engagement of the day will see him learning about current anti-poaching measures being taken by rangers.

Over the summer, Harry spent three months in Africa, including time in Kruger, working on wildlife conservation projects, so this will be a chance for him to share his experience and concerns about the threat to endangered species with the media and the wider world.

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