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When Luke met Prince Harry

Buninyong Public students greet the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Dubbo.

Prince Harry bends down to meet Luke.

Principal Anne van Dartel looks on as Luke inspects Prince Harry’s beard.
Credit: Penny Bradfield/Auspic/DPS

As someone who always puts her students first, today will be a day Buninyong Public School Principal Anne van Dartel will never forget.

Etched in her mind will be the kindness of Prince Harry as he met one of her Special Unit students, Luke Vincent.

Luke, who has Down Syndrome, is fascinated with beards and when Prince Harry squatted to say hello, Luke did what he normally does – lent out and stroked his beard.

Unfazed, the Duke of Sussex continued to engage Luke and gave him a hug and then another.

Even when his wife, Meghan, came to Luke he remained mesmerised by Prince Harry and his beard.

“You have to give my wife a hug, too,” Prince Harry insisted.

“It was so lovely,” Ms van Dartel said.

“We took 21 students to the airport and joined all Dubbo primary schools to greet the Duke and Duchess.

“Prince Harry walked along the line speaking personally to every student, asking them their name, their school and favourite subjects and sports.

“It was really special for each of them.

“The way the Duke and Duchess gave every student individualised attention was truly exceptional.”

Ms van Dartel said it was difficult to choose the Buninyong Public students who would have the honour of greeting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as they arrived at Dubbo airport.

“We randomly selected students who have shown exceptional behaviour,” Ms van Dartel said.

“But when we returned to school everyone is joining in special activities for ‘Prince or Princess for a Day’.”

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