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Duke and Duchess of Sussex meet koalas, receive baby gifts on first day of Australia tour

The expectant couple kicked off their 16-day international tour in Sydney.
/ Source: TODAY

No longer needing to keep their baby news a secret, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made their first appearance since the world learned about their pregnancy in Sydney, Australia, beaming and holding hands throughout the day.

“Thank you for the incredibly warm welcome and the chance to meet so many Aussies from all walks of life," Prince Harry said Tuesday in their first official appearance of a 16-day trip that will take the royals through the nation before heading to Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.

"We couldn't think of a better place to announce the upcoming baby, be it a boy or a girl.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Sydney
Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, appearance in Sydney, Australia, was their first since news broke about their pregnancy.Pool/Samir Hussein / WireImage

Just a day earlier, moments after the couple landed Down Under, Kensington Palace announced Harry and his wife, the former Meghan Markle, were expecting their first child in the spring.

That led the couple to be inundated with well wishes and baby gifts everywhere they went.

They received a stuffed kangaroo, which had a joey in her pouch, and a pair of baby Ugg boots from Australian Governor-General Peter Cosgrove and his wife, Lynn, who welcomed the royals with a reception at the Admiralty House, their official residence.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Sydney
The duchess holds a plush kangaroo she received from Australia's Governor General Peter Cosgrove and his wife, Lynne, during a reception. Pool / Getty Images

Meghan noted the items were “our first baby gifts.”

The couple were also given a pair of Akubras, which are traditional Australian hats.

The pair then headed to Sydney’s Taronga Zoo to meet with conservation scientists working to reduce illegal wildlife trafficking.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Sydney
The royals meet a koala named Ruby and its joey, named Meghan after the duchess, at the Taronga Zoo.Dean Lewins / AFP/Getty Images

They also met with some furry friends, including a pair of 10-month-old koalas named after Harry and Meghan.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Sydney
Harry gets up close with Ruby.Dean Lewins / AFP/Getty Images

The duke and duchess also received a warm rowdy welcome from hundreds who had gathered around Sydney’s iconic Opera House, where the couple went on a walkabout and posed for photos.

Among the fans was Daphne Dunne, a 98-year-old war widow who met Harry during two previous visits Down Under. The first time was in 2015, when she memorably planted a kiss on his cheek. The two met up again two years later.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Sydney
The couple greet longtime royal fan Daphne Dunne, 98, during a public walkabout at the Sydney Opera House.Samir Hussein / WireImage

Harry introduced his new bride to Dunne, who held Meghan’s hands in her own as the three chatted. Harry noted the pink hue in Dunne’s hair and complimented her shoes. Meghan expressed how glad she was to finally meet her.

“I’ve heard so much about you. All good things,” the duchess said. “Hopefully next time we see you we’ll have a little one with us.”

Meghan's baby bump could barely be noticed, if at all, in either of the two dresses she wore during the day.

Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex started off her day in a white shift dress designed by Karen Gee, and later changed into a Brandon Maxwell olive shirt dress.
Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex started off her day in a white shift dress designed by Karen Gee, and later changed into a Brandon Maxwell olive shirt dress.Reuters, Getty Images

She started off in a white sheath by designer Karen Gee and later changed into a green shirt dress by Brandon Maxwell for another reception hosted by the governor-general.

It was at the afternoon gathering that Meghan got a first-hand peek into her future when she spoke with Missy Higgins, an Australian singer who brought her 9-week-old baby.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Sydney
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex talks to Australian Singer Missy Higgins, with her 9 week old baby Luna, at an afternoon reception hosted by the Governor-General and Lady Cosgrove during Day one of their tour, on October 16, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are on their official 16-day Autumn tour visiting cities in Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.Pool / Getty Images

Throughout the day, Meghan paid quiet tribute to Harry's mother by wearing a pair of butterfly earrings that belonged to her. The late Princess Diana was seen wearing the jewelry during a 1986 tour of Canada.

Duchess of Sussex and Princess Diana wearing the same earrings
Megan wore earrings that belonged to her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana.Getty file

Australia will be the site of this year's Invictus Games, the Paralympic-style competition Harry helped create for wounded veterans. The games open Saturday.

After Australia, the duke and duchess will continue their ambitious tour to New Zealand — and two Pacific islands where the Zika virus is present, Fiji and Tonga.

The couple reportedly sought medical advice ahead of the trip and decided to move forward with their plans. Meghan, however, is expected to opt out out of certain parts of the grueling schedule.