Royal hug: Pregnant Meghan gets an enthusiastic greeting from five-year-old Luke Vincent in the outback town of Dubbo (DEAN LEWINS)

Dubbo (Australia) (AFP) – The outback Australian town of Dubbo was awash with royal fever Wednesday as Harry and and his expectant wife Meghan were greeted with hugs and throngs of eager locals brandishing cardboard cut-outs of the couple.

Others wore royal fancy dress and there was even a specially brewed beer dubbed “Dubbo Royale”.

The prince and his US-born wife where met on Dubbo’s airport tarmac by gleeful school children waving Australian flags, before unveiling a new aircraft for the country’s Royal Flying Doctor Service at the local airport.

But the pair also stopped for a cuddle with five-year-old Luke Vincent, who was wearing school uniform and a blue-and-white cap as he nuzzled the duchess and affectionately rubbed the duke’s thinning ginger head.

The royal couple are in Dubbo — a historic town six hours’ drive from Sydney — to meet drought-stricken farmers, enjoy a family picnic and to tour a school that works with young indigenous Australians.

Harry and Meghan are following in the footsteps of Queen Elizabeth who visited Dubbo in 1954.

A Dubbo bar went to great length to welcome the couple — who announced this week they were expecting a baby — by making a batch of “Dubbo Royale” beer.

The brew which combines an English-style lager with US West Coast hops, in tribute to the happy couple.

“It’s like a marriage in a beer can,” bar licensee Ryan Mackintosh told local publication the Daily Liberal.

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