When Clarke and Nick were getting ready to go to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s first public appearance in Melbourne during their recent tour, they had no idea they would get to shake hands with the Royals – an encounter that was televised live across Australia.
Clarke, a Yooralla client who attends Yooralla’s Fawkner Community Hub, said that it was a spur-of-the-moment decision to go to the event.
“It’s been a bucket list item for a while. I knew they were in Melbourne – I had been following them and I got the idea in my head to go. So I asked Mark (a Yooralla support worker) if we were able to go to see them instead of what we had planned for that day. So off we went!” said Clarke.
When Clarke, Nick and Mark arrived, security escorted them to the front of the fence where they waited for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
“They were delayed half an hour, but when everyone started to scream and shout I knew they were there”, said Clarke.
“When Meghan came over to us I was in shock, I said to myself ‘is it really her?’. I was crying as I saw her in front of me. She shook my hand and thanked me for coming. It was a bucket list item that never in my life did I think I would fulfil. It felt surreal.”
Nick, who is also a Yooralla client and attends Yooralla’s Fawkner Community Hub, said that he and Clarke were sitting outside the barrier having a coffee when they saw Meghan walking towards them.
“Meghan came and shook my hand. She also thanked us for coming. I was on the TV with her. It was very exciting,” he said.
Lynden McComb, Service Leader at Yooralla’s Fawkner Community Hub, said the staff and clients at the Hub couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw Clarke and Nick on TV.
“There were thousands of people there, so what were the chances of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stopping and shaking their hands? We were all so happy for them,” she said.