'As Tough As They Come': Prince Harry Gives Emotional Address To Drought-Stricken Farmers
Australia's rural communities and drought-stricken farmers are the "backbone of this country," Prince Harry said.
Standing under an umbrella held up by wife Meghan, the Duke of Sussex described the rain that greeted the couple in Dubbo as a gift. But, he said, much more was needed to help drought-stricken communities across the country.
"I know that life has not been easy," Harry said to the crowd.
"You have just lived through two years of drought and despite recent welcome rain it's going to take a lot more to recover."
"It must be hard not to lose hope when you endure so many dry months end on end knowing that you are powerless to do anything about it."
But it was Harry's personal message of support to rural communities that had the rain-drenched crowd cheering, as the young Royal described the people of country Australia as the "salt of the earth."
"Honest, hard-working and as tough as they come," he said.
"That resilience, sense of humour and commitment to the land are the qualities that make you unique. You are the backbone of this country."
The Duke of Sussex also urged farmers to seek help for the emotional and mental impact of drought, adding that the couple's visit to Mountain View Farm on Wednesday had shown them the desperate reality for farmer's trying to feed their livestock.
"We know suicide rates in rural and remote areas are higher than urban populations. This is especially true among young men in remote regions," Harry said.
"But outside all of that, here is what I also know. You are one huge community and with that comes an unparalleled level of internal support and understanding."
He urged the community not to suffer in silence and on a touching personal note added that asking for help was one of the greatest decisions he had ever made.
"It's not easy and there are no quick fixes," he said, adding that hardship often brought out the best in people in helping others.
"You are all the toughest people out there, the most persistent," Harry said.
"The ones who can weather the storm or the drought."
The Royal couple are in Dubbo today as part of their Australian Tour, you can follow along with our live blog here.