The Duke and Duchess of Sussex charmed crowds outside the Royal Pavilion yesterday – and the couple seemed just as charmed by the Prince Regent’s pleasure palace.
The tour of the Pavilion was just one of the stops on the newlywed couple’s first whistlestop tour of the county whose name they took on their wedding day.
Throngs of people lined the Pavilion entrance and the Pavilion Buildings, and North Street was briefly closed as the couple made their entrance in a motorcade at about 2pm.
Harry, 34, and American wife Meghan, 37, were met with a roaring reception as they arrived in central Brighton at 2pm.
They strolled down a flank each and greeted adoring fans, many of whom came with flowers and cards for the royals.
Harry, looking dapper in a grey suit and his top button undone, charmed his way through the crowd with his endearing smile and natural charm, taking the time to engage with people in the sunshine.
Former actress Meghan stunned her fans in her dark green Hugo Boss skirt and shirt from And Other Stories teamed with nude suede stilettos.
She removed her camel Armani coat she had been wearing earlier on in her visit in Chichester and Bognor.
After the ten-minute stroll the couple passed through the India Gate and into the Pavilion grounds, where they were met by lucky youngsters from Queen’s Park Primary School – some of whom couldn’t resist flossing for the couple.
Harry and Meghan spent time with the euphoric pupils who were only told on Tuesday they would be playing a part in the big day.
Harry asked the children what they wanted to be when they grew up and who their favourite teachers were, and was met with answers of “fireman” and “policeman” as the most common responses.
Eight-year-old Katla Beatrice Brooks could not contain her excitement after seeing the Duke and Duchess.
Katla did not sleep on Tuesday after hearing the news the royals were coming to the city.
She said: “They’re amazing and really cool. I was super excited when we were told they were coming after school.”
Harry and Meghan were taken for a tour round the Pavilion, seeing the banquet room in which Harry joked about the task of cleaning the high ceiling.
They also visited the newly-restored saloon, which Meghan described as “really special”. The couple were gifted a scarf made from the same material as the saloon’s magnificent carpet.
Royal obsessive Camila Gelber, 44, Harry and Meghan travelled from London and met fellow regal enthusiast Leo Heap, from Haywards Heath, and they pitched up at the Pavilion Gardens at 10am ready with flowers and a card.
Camila said: “Harry and Meghan are setting a new example, with her being of mixed race. It’s modernising.
“They’re so in touch with everyday people. Meghan’s background means she is able to talk to anyone.”
Lizbeth Ruffman and her friend Pat Stonier, both from Brighton, got their timings wrong about when Harry and Meghan would be in the city – but hung around for some five hours to welcome the red-headed prince and his American wife.
Lizbeth said: “I’m fascinated with Harry and Meghan. I’ve always liked the royal family – they’re a good figurehead for England.
“Harry and Meghan are a nice couple.
“I think Meghan is a good addition to the family.
“She’s glamorous and quite outspoken. And I love Harry.”
After strolling through the gardens where they met overjoyed fans and schoolchildren, Harry and Meghan were given a tour of the Royal Pavilion.
Janita Bagshawe, head of the Royal Pavilion and Museums, guided them through the Long Gallery, banquet room, recently-restored saloon and the music room.
The couple were engaged throughout, with both Harry and Meghan impressed with the interior.
Ms Bagshawe said: “It was a royal privilege and a very significant day. Harry is so natural and it was lovely how they were so conscious of the public – it showed real awareness.”