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Prince Andrew visits the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne

On his first day in Australia, the Duke of York visited the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, where he met young patients and staff, before watching a singing performance which was specially put on for the visit.

Whereas most members of The Royal Family receive a bouquet of flowers when they conduct an official engagement, Prince Andrew got quite a different reception as he was handed a toy meerkat by one young patient as The Queen’s son toured the wards.

The cuddly toy was gifted to the Duke by Five-year-old Ned Isham who is undergoing treated for cancer for the second time.

Before the tour of the hospital came to an end, Prince Andrew was treated to a special musical performance which was written and acted out by the patients to mark their encounter with royalty.

The Royal Children’s Hospital is a major specialist paediatric hospital in Victoria and provides a full range of clinical services and prevention programs for children and adolescents.

Also on Tuesday, the Duke of York visited the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, which is located in the building next door to the children’s hospital.

The sixth-in-line to the throne observed beating heart cells, in addition to a new method of turning stem cells into “mini kidneys” for drug screening.

Earlier in the morning, the Duke laid a wreath at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, honouring all Australians who have served in war.

Prince Andrew, who arrived in Australia on Monday for a two-week tour of the country, made the act of remembrance his first official engagement in the country.

After laying his wreath, the Duke met with volunteers who work at the Shrine over afternoon tea.

The Shrine of Remembrance was originally built as a memorial to the men and women of Victoria who served in World War I. However, as time has gone by, the memorial has transformed into a national commemorative point, in dedication to all Australians who have served in war.

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