The Duke of Sussex, supported by his wife Meghan who held an umbrella to shield him from torrential rain, told a huge crowd of fans in Dubbo, a rural town in New South Wales, that they ‘must not silently suffer’.
Harry has previously spoken of his own battles, saying he went through two years of ‘total chaos’ as he struggled to come to term with the death of his mother, Princess Diana.
He told farmers and locals in Dubbo that seeking counselling over those issues was ‘one of the best decisions’ he had ever made, and encouraged them to speak to others in their community about their mental health.
The Duke of Sussex also spoke of his time working on a remote cattle station in Queensland in 2003, and said coming to Dubbo reminded him of the gap year he spent ‘chasing cows through the bush and getting chased by countless bulls’.
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Prince Harry and The Duchess of Sussex helped feed the cattle
Adorable toddler Ruby Carroll stole the limelight during the Duke and Duchess’ visit to the Woodleys’ farm near Dubbo
The Woodleys explained how they have adapted to the drought, before inviting Harry and Meghan for morning tea at the homestead with their family
Prince Harry, pictured in the Queensland outback in 2003, has very fond memories of rural Australia
The royal couple earlier met with the Woodleys, a fourth-generation family of sheep and cattle farmers to discuss the impact the drought has had on them, despite some recent rain.
Scott and Elaine Woodley, who farm full time alongside their 23-year-old daughter Laura, took Their Royal Highnesses on a short tour of the farm.
The Royal couple were’t afraid to get their hands dirty as they helped out with farm tasks such as feeding the cattle.
The family explained how they have adapted to the drought, before inviting Harry and Meghan for morning tea at the homestead with their family.
The Duchess of Sussex whipped up a loaf of banana bread to take with her on a visit to a farm to highlight the plight of farmers hit by drought. Pregnant Meghan, 37, cooked the delicious treat in the kitchen at Admiralty House, the mansion home of the Governor-General of Australia, on Tuesday night following her first full day of engagements in Sydney.
She took the cake, packed with chocolate chips and a touch of ginger, with her to the Mountain View Farm property outside of Dubbo in New South Wales.
An aide said: ‘She loves baking and just decided to take something along with her on the spur of the moment.
The duchess also took along the perfect accompaniment- a tin of Fortnum and Mason ‘Royal Blend’ tea.
Before the Duchess had even left the cake was three-quarters of the way gone.
Benita Woodley, 20, whose parents Scott and Elaine currently farm the 3,000 acre property, declared it delicious: ‘It was such a nice and thoughtful thing for her to do. We are really touched. ‘
Thirteen-month-old Ruby Carroll was the star of the show over tea in the garden, where the extended family gathered for a relaxed chat with the Royal couple.
The Duchess of Sussex whipped up a loaf of banana bread (pictured) to take with her on her visit to a Dubbo farm
After making a fuss of Ruby, the Duchess spoke to the toddler’s mother Emily Carroll, 33, about her own pregnancy.
‘They both had a little tickle with her [Ruby],’ Mrs Carroll said. ‘She’s normally in bed at 10.30am but we had to stay up for this. She’s done so well.
‘Meghan told me that she’s feeling pretty good so far, which is great, and that she’s running on adrenaline.
‘She said they’re doing 76 engagements in 16 days, with maybe one rest in the middle.
‘She’s made for this royal business, isn’t she?’
She added: ‘They’re both great with kids.’
Not even a downpour could dampen the Royal couple’s spirits, where Prince Harry (left) urged drought-stricken farmers to seek help battling their mental struggles, just like he did when tackling his own demons
The family, which gather at the farm for teas and long lunches regularly, were impressed with the Duchess’ gift of banana bread, baked at Admiralty House in Sydney last night.
‘She said if you go to someone’s house you always bring something, so she did.
‘She said she was worried about the bananas, that she’d put too many bananas in it. But the Duke said there’s never too many bananas.’
Alice Hall, 25, proclaimed it five stars, giving it full marks for being moist: the highest accolade for baking in their family.
Earlier in the morning, the Woodley sisters had helped round up their cattle for the Duke and Duchess to feed, enticing them with hay on the back of a ute.
The Royal couple had gamely seized the heavy buckets of cotton seed to pour onto small piles of hay, for the angus cows and their angus/speckle parks cross breed calves.
HOW PRINCE HARRY BATTLED HIS DEMONS
In April 2017, Prince Harry revealed how his brother William encouraged him to seek counselling after two years of ‘total chaos’ as he struggled to come to terms with his mother’s death.
In a candid interview with The Telegraph, he revealed how his older brother implored him to get help after ‘shutting down all his emotions’ for nearly 20 years following Diana’s death in 1997.
The prince, who was 12 years old when his mother died, admits that he ignored his grief during his teenage years, only addressing it when he was ‘on the verge of punching someone’ in later life.
Before that point, he endured two years of ‘total chaos’ when he became ‘a problem’ to himself – a period which included the infamous Nazi fancy dress and intimate photographs from a party in Las Vegas – but ‘did not know what was wrong’
He said his grief, compounded with living in the public eye, had left him ‘close to a breakdown’, sparking anxiety during royal engagements and struggles in his personal life that he ‘didn’t know how to deal with’.
‘I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle.
‘My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand, refusing to ever think about my mum, because why would that help?’
The breeding cattle have suffered particularly in the drought, with hay and feed being imported from other parts of Australia to keep them going.
The cotton seed is particularly nutritious and high energy for them.
The couple spend around five minutes in the field, tipping out food for the cows and watching them at.
As the left the farm, the heavens opened for the first downpour of rain in three weeks. Kate Woodley said the farm had ‘barely any rain for seven or eight months’.
Prince Harry is no stranger to life on the land.
Prince Harry looked very much the seasoned stockman during his three month stint as a jackaroo at Tooloombilla Station in 2003
After graduating from Eton, Prince Harry, then 19, spent his gap year in 2003 working as a jackaroo at Tooloombilla Station, a sprawling 16,000 hectare cattle property 150 kilomtres northwest of Roma in outback Central Queensland.
The ranch was owned at the time by Annie and Noel Hill, who were friends of his late mother Princess Diana.
Mr Hill was the son of millionaire polo star Sinclair Hill, who coached Harry’s father Prince Charles.
Prince Harry spent three months working at the station and earned the very unprincely sum of $212.63 a week after tax.
It’s understood Prince Harry earned the very unprincely sum of $212.63 a week after tax
Working from 7.30am until 6pm, his duties include mustering cattle and mending fences.
He also found time to jet around Australia to a few Rugby World Cup games to cheer on his beloved England, who memorably won the tournament following a dramatic extra-time win against Australia in the final.
‘I have had a great time working out here, meeting people and learning a bit about how to be a jackaroo,’ Prince Harry said in a statement at the time.
‘And of course the rugby was absolutely fantastic. It’s a great country.’
Prince Harry developed a strong bond with Guardsman during his time on the ranch
Prince Harry was just 19 when he worked on an Australian outback cattle ranch for Annie and Noel Hill, friends of his late mother Princess Diana
One major downside to the working holiday was the lack of privacy and being under frequent public scrutiny with media crews permanently camped outside the ranch.
There were reports the prince contemplated cutting short his three-month Australian adventure as a result.
‘Learning about the farm and the jackaroo trade, that’s what he wants to do, not dodge the cameras,’ Prince Charles’ press secretary Colleen Harris said at the time.
Lib McEwan, wife of Injune Hotel licensee John McEwan added: ‘I think our locals are starting to get a bit defensive because they’re feeling sorry for him. The media is spoiling the whole deal that was supposed to happen.’
Meghan shielded her husband Prince Harry from torrential rain in Dubbo after the heavens opened during a speech to thousands of adoring royal fans.
The Duke of Sussex said the rain was ‘a gift’ for drought-hit farmers, and spoke of how visiting the rural town reminded him of his time working as a jackaroo on a remote ranch in Australia during his gap year.
The royal couple made a new best friend when they touched down in Dubbo earlier that morning.
Luke Vincent, a five-year-old in kindergarten at Buninyong Public School, was overjoyed to meet Harry and Meghan when his turn came – and he just couldn’t stop hugging a delighted Prince Harry or Meghan Markle.
Prince Harry was pictured holding two Akubras as he and The Duchess of Sussex boarded a flight for Dubbo from Sydney on Wednesday morning
Kensington Palace tweeted the royals’ Dubbo visit on Wednesday morning
The couple, who are expecting their first child, received a warm welcome from schoolchildren in Dubbo