ROYAL VISIT: Tristan, other locals meet Harry and Meghan
THE whole world watched on as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made the Fraser Island stop of their Australian tour on Monday, but an especially lucky Gympie trio managed to get up close and personal with the Royal couple.
Local woman Rose Barrowcliffe took her place alongside her fellow Butchulla people, the Traditional Owners of K'gari, as they officially welcomed the Duke of Sussex with a Welcome to Country Smoking Ceremony.
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Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service Ranger Marc Dargusch played a role in the royal cavalcade which introduced Harry and Meghan to the Butchulla people, and Rainbow Beach teenager Tristan Sik shook hands with both as they met well-wishers on the jetty at Kingfisher Bay.
Tristan's mother Carolyn Elder said reality was still sinking in for the family after a "huge day”.
"Our day started at 5am and we didn't get home until after 6pm, but it was well worth it,” Ms Elder said.
"We were a little bit surprised because Tristan didn't seem excited beforehand, and we weren't sure how much he would remember of the Royals, but he was very happy when he met them.
"Meghan shook his hand first, and then Tristan put his hand out to shake Harry's hand, and Meghan introduced him to Harry.
"It's still sinking in for the kids, my 10-year-old daughter April got in the car today and told me how many people had asked her about meeting Meghan and Harry.”
Tristan's royal encounter came just months after he met Matt Damon while the Hollywood superstar spent time with friend and fellow actor Chris Hemsworth at Rainbow Beach.
Ms Elder said her son, a "superstar in his own right”, continued to make big strides in his long recovery from a near-fatal road accident, in which he was struck by a car as he rode his pushbike, last July.