Prince Harry honours fallen SAS soldiers in Perth

Prince Harry has honoured fallen SAS soldiers, and comforted their families, as he completed his whirlwind tour of Australia with a brief stopover in Western Australia.

After the fleet and fireworks in Sydney on Saturday, the 29-year-old Prince made his first visit to WA accompanied by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, with his day taken up mostly with a visit to the home of the SAS at the Campbell Barracks in the coastal suburb of Swanbourne.

After being farewelled from Sydney by Premier Barry O'Farrell and the NSW Governor's official secretary Brian Davies earlier on Sunday, the prince was met in the west by Premier Colin Barnett.

A noted Royal admirer, Mr Barnett and his wife Lyn greeted the fourth-in-line to the British throne, two years after they hosted the Prince's grandmother Queen Elizabeth II during the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.

Meanwhile in Sydney, a memorial service has taken place to remember the Royal Australian Navy's deadly first single ship battle.

The Bradleys Head service was part of the International Fleet Review, marking 100 years since the Navy's first warships entered Sydney Harbour.

In 1914 during World War I, HMAS Sydney encountered German cruiser Emden off the Cocos Islands.

Four Australian sailors lost their lives in the battle, which also killed 134 Germans.

As the fleet review celebrations continue, more than a dozen tall ships are on display on Sydney Harbour.

People with pre-purchased tickets will be able to board international warships at Barangaroo and Garden Island, to get a glimpse of life at sea.

A dazzling fireworks display closed a huge Saturday of navy celebrations on Sydney Harbour, including a whirlwind visit by Prince Harry on his first official visit to Australia.

The harbour exploded in a kaleidoscope of colour at 7.40pm (AEST) on Saturday as fireworks launched from seven illuminated warships mesmerised thousands of onlookers on the foreshore.

The show marked the end of the biggest day of the eight-day International Fleet Review.

GALLERY: The International Fleet Review in pictures


In a 30-minute extravaganza, red, gold, blue, and green crackers lit the night sky, cascaded from the Harbour bridge, and even floated on the water around a navy submarine.

The display, which used more than seven tonnes of fireworks, even featured plane-shaped fireworks specially designed for the event.

Accompanying the glittering display were huge projections on the Opera House that told the story of the RAN's 100 year history.

A soundtrack of classical, rock and high-energy electro pumped throughout the show, which also featured huge searchlights, and renditions of the Australian national anthem and the Last Post.

Keith Bowman, who camped out at Mrs Macquarie's Chair from 5am to nab a prime spot, said the show was "better than any New Year's Eve"."The narrative that went with it was really good, really fitting, I liked the whole lot of it," the Gosford local told AAP.Earlier, thousands jostled to catch a glimpse of Prince Harry, with the fourth-in-line to the British throne also visiting for the Fleet Review.After being welcomed on the harbour by a 100-gun salute, Harry, dressed in a white tropical dress uniform of the British Army and a blue Army Air Corps beret, spent a few hours on board HMAS Leeuwin inspecting the warship fleet, alongside Governor-General Quentin Bryce.The prince's appearance on the harbour coincided with a dazzling display by navy aircraft and helicopters, thrilling spectators lining the foreshore.Back on land, Harry donned a crisp navy-coloured suit, blue tie and white shirt to make a surprise appearance at The Rocks, shaking hands and saying hello to hundreds who were hugging the barricades in an effort to see him.From there, the prince took a boat to Kirribilli House, where he was greeted by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, his wife Margie and daughters Bridget and Frances.They posed for official photographs and walked through the gardens before greeting a crowd that had gathered at the gates of the prime minister's Sydney residence."What do you think of your new neighbour?" Harry asked one of the locals, referring to the newly-elected Mr Abbott.

Prince Harry meets Prime Minister Tony Abbott's wife and daughters. Photo: AAP


Inside, the prime minister reflected on the special day, joking that Prince Harry appealed to even those Australians who aren't royalists."Prince Harry, I regret to say not every Australian is a monarchist," he said."But today everyone feels like a monarchist."The Fleet Review runs until October 11.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Prince Harry and Governor-General Quentin Bryce on board HMAS Leeuwin. Photo: AAP


Fan favouritePrince Harry received a warm welcome in Sydney from a young woman, who kayaked across the Harbour with a flag that read "I (heart) U Harry" and printed her phone number on it in big red letters."I just wanted to see Harry on the boat really, I thought we'd get up close," Victoria McRae told AAP."It didn't quite go to plan, we got towed away, but it was worth it."The young royal arrived in Sydney to help celebrate 100 years since the Royal Australian Navy fleet first entered the waterway.The International Fleet Review visit marks the prince's first official trip to Australia representing the royal family.Keen Sydneysiders set up deck chairs and cameras from the early hours of the morning, snaring the best spots around the Botanic Gardens, the Opera House, and Mrs Macquarie's Chair.At 10.30am the major war vessels from 17 nations circled the harbour and were officially inspected by Ms Bryce and Prince Harry.

GALLERY: International Fleet review in pictures


On Friday, more than 20 warships from 17 nations glided into the harbour to the Navy centenary.Leading Australia's ships in the ceremonial spectacle yesterday was HMAS Sydney, which emerged from behind Bradley's Head, followed by six others - Darwin, Bundaberg, Perth, Parramatta, Diamantina and Huon.HMAS Sydney Commander Karl Brinckman says the first fleet review in 1913 signalled Australia coming of age as a nation."One-hundred years ago was the first Australianised fleet, if you like, our own ships that we could call our own," he said."Before that we very much relied upon ships, particularly from the UK."So the Australian fleet was very important in nation-building for the country. The nation was really only around 12 years old at that time."

Crowds lined the harbour from early morning to secure prime viewing positions. Photo: AAP


Keen photographer James Lu secured himself a front row spot in front of the Opera House.The Sydney resident has learnt his lesson from past New Year's Eve events when he has had to wrestle for a position."Every (year) on New Year's Eve I will be here at 7.30am and there are people every where so I made sure I got a good position," he said."I like the big light show and it should be interesting with the warships and air show."

Prince Harry prepares to board the HMAS Leeuwin in Sydney. Photo: Sunrise


The fleet review is expected to draw 1.4 million people to the city.Canada's Navy pulls outCanada's navy has pulled out of the International Fleet Review on Sydney Harbour.Canadian vessels were due to participate in the maritime spectacular but a RAN spokeswoman confirmed on Friday that Canada's contingent had withdrawn.She declined to comment on whether this was because of the collision of two of its warships, HMCS Algonquin and HMCS Protecteur, en route to Hawaii in August.The Canadian Defence Department said the two warships were conducting towing exercises, which require close-quarters manoeuvring, when the incident occurred."HMCS Algonquin will no longer deploy to Asia Pacific region as planned," the department said in a statement on August 31.Eighteen visiting warships and 19 Royal Australian Navy vessels cruised into Sydney Harbour on Friday as part in the historic nautical event, which runs until October 11.The International Fleet Review also features more than 60 aircraft, 10 military bands, 8000 sailors and a huge fireworks display.About 1.4 million people are expected to attend the eight-day nautical extravaganza.Fleet fireworks like no otherAs far as Sydney fireworks supremo Fortunato Foti is concerned, battleships and pyrotechnics are the perfect combination.That's why organisers of Saturday's light and fireworks spectacular say the show to celebrate the International Fleet Review was unlike anything ever seen before on Sydney Harbour.Mr Foti, who is also responsible for staging Sydney's New Year's Eve fireworks says while those festivities have the Harbour Bridge as a centrepiece, Saturday's played out across 17 harbour locations.Seven lit-up warships were transformed into firework launching pads in an Australian first, project director Heath Campanaro says.

GALLERY: One of the first naval ships to enter Sydney Harbour. Photo: AAP


"People will never have seen anything like this," Mr Campanaro said."The show is very different to anything done on Sydney Harbour before."It's going to be one of the most amazing things we've seen."The show was a result of 12 months of planning, and was timed down to the minute, Mr Campanaro said.Rehearsals over the past few nights have gone "perfectly", but with 17 visiting navies and international media watching, Mr Campanaro admitted his team was feeling the pressure."But we were very organised and on top of it," he said.The Navy is in townOver 20 warships from 17 nations sailed into Sydney Harbour on Friday morning, marking 100 years since the Royal Australian Navy fleet first entered the Harbour.Large crowds gathered as a procession of warships cruised into a sparkling Sydney Harbour for the International Fleet Review.PLAN Qingdao from China, Singapore's RSS Endeavour and the Royal Malaysian Navy's KD Jebat entered this morning under grey but clearing skies. There will also be ships from the United States, the United Kingdom, France and India.The HMAS Sydney was among the fleet that sailed into Sydney on this day a century ago.Its namesake escorted the ships from Jervis Bay as they made their way up the coast last night.


Ship gazers posed with naval officers and snapped pictures as the ships sailed under the bridge, while a navy band in full regalia began setting up on the Opera House forecourt, ready to supply the soundtrack for the day's activities.Craig Boyd, 45, came from Canberra with his son Daniel, 13, to see the spectacle.As a helicopter circled overhead, Mr Boyd said it was an ideal school holiday outing and a chance to teach his young son some impromptu history lessons."My father was in the navy for some time, so just the opportunity - you don't get to see things like this too often," he said.By the foreshore, Stacy and Georgina Andreadis, 63 and 61, had set up their deck chairs in prime vantage points."We'd been here for the 75th anniversary (of the RAN), and now we're here for the 100," Mr Andreadis, of Wetherill Park, said.He said he was particularly keen to see the international vessels sailing Down Under and both were considering coming back on Saturday for the harbour fireworks spectacular.By mid-morning, Ruth Pigott, 60, of Camden, had also ticked a few things off her day's itinerary."We've ridden the ferries and listened to the bands," she told AAP."Now we're going to go out on the harbour to look at the boats."But she was less enthusiastic about one of the star attractions of the review, Prince Harry, who will be inspecting the fleet on Saturday."No, no. Not interested in him," she said.Tall Ships land in Sydney HarbourThe ships are set to greet Sydney under sunnier skies than yesterday's arrival of 17 Tall Ships. Despite the weather, the Harbour was buzzing with activity as the ships arrived as part of the once-in-a-century spectacle, which runs until October 11.The maritime spectacular will also feature more than 60 aircraft, 10 military bands, 8000 sailors and a huge fireworks display on Saturday.The festivities began on Thursday morning, with musicians from the Royal New Zealand Navy Band and RAN Sydney Commodores Wind Trio climbing aboard Manly ferries to serenade commuters.The tall ships from Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Canada and the Netherlands will sail into the harbour at 11am (AEST) on Thursday.


international fleet review

Ships arriving in Sydney Harbour for the fleet review. Photo: 7News


Would-be spectators have been urged to use public transport and additional services are running.Mrs Macquaries Road in the Royal Botanic Gardens will remain closed until 6pm on Thursday, while part of Hickson Road in the Rocks will close from 11am until 2pm.Extra Route 324 buses will be running between Circular Quay and Watsons Bay, along with extra Route 380 buses between Watsons Bay and Bondi Junction and Route 244 buses between Spit Junction and Chowder Bay at Mosman.Ferries may fill up and drivers have been warned special event clearways will be in place in the city and along the northern and southern side of the harbour until 8pm Thursday.The review commemorates the arrival of the Royal Australian Navy fleet in Sydney for the first time 100 years ago, in October 1913.