- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visited Sydney’s Bondi Beach on Friday.
- The couple are more than halfway through the Australia portion of their royal tour.
- The Duke and Duchess of Sussex took part in an “anti-bad-vibe circle” with members of OneWave, a nonprofit surf community that raises awareness of mental health issues.
- Harry has previously supported raising awareness of mental health issues, last year launching the Heads Together campaign with Prince William and Kate Middleton.
- The duke and duchess decided to throw royal etiquette out the window and took off their shoes for the beach session.
On Friday, the pair visited Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach, where they met with members of OneWave, a nonprofit surf community that raises awareness of mental health issues.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex participated in an “anti-bad-vibe circle” in the sand with group members who congregate weekly for “Fluro Fridays,” fluro referring to the garishly coloured clothing the group wears.
OneWave members surf, swim, and do yoga during the sessions. “It gets people asking important questions, which are normally avoided about mental health,” the charity’s website reads.
Harry has previously supported raising awareness of mental health issues. In 2017 he revealed that he struggled to process his emotions following the death of his mother, Princess Diana, and colaunched the mental health awareness campaign Heads Together with his brother, Prince William, and his sister-in-law, Kate Middleton.
According to Sky News, Harry told the group on the beach in Australia: “Each and every one of us will experience poor mental health, it doesn’t discriminate.”
The duke and duchess decided to throw royal etiquette out the window and took off of their shoes for the beach session. They were also each given a Hawaiian lei to wear.
According to The Guardian, OneWave cofounder Grant Trebilco, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, said: “The things that really saved me was surfing and the other thing was talking about it. Two of my closest friends started sharing their stories about depression and I never knew.
“It’s so hard to reach out for help. What Harry is doing with his Heads Together is amazing, letting people know it’s OK to not be OK.
“Australia loves them. They’re super passionate about mental health, they are showing that mental health does not discriminate. They’re saving lives talking about it.”
The duke and duchess’ trip to Australia coincides with the Invictus Games– the multi-sport event created by Harry for wounded, injured, or sick military personnel – which will be held in Sydney starting Saturday and will last one week.
The couple are in Australia until next Tuesday when they will jet off to Fiji and later Tonga and New Zealand to round off their first official royal tour as a married couple.
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