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How one man’s dream job led to a Royal meeting with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

PUBLISHED: 16:25 30 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:53 30 October 2018

Duchess of Sussex meets local people along Kingfisher Bay Jetty on Fraser Island, Queensland, on day seven of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's visit to Australia.

Duchess of Sussex meets local people along Kingfisher Bay Jetty on Fraser Island, Queensland, on day seven of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's visit to Australia.

PA Wire/PA Images

Robin Pickett was always determined to follow his dreams; little did he know where they would end up taking him.

Robin Pickett recently welcomed Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to Fraser Island. Photo: Robin Pickett.Robin Pickett recently welcomed Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to Fraser Island. Photo: Robin Pickett.

Last week millions of people around the world watched Mr Pickett, who is originally from Beccles, greet Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their visit to Fraser Island, off Australia.

The Royal couple were visiting the World Heritage site as part of their Invictus Tour and, as an eco ranger on the island, Mr Pickett was among the lucky few chosen to welcome them.

For the former Langley School head boy wildlife is more than just a job – it’s a life long passion.

It was Mr Pickett’s late father Graham, a former DEFRA marine biologist, who inspired the desire to work with the environment.

Robin Pickett with his late father Graham. Photo courtesy of the Pickett family.Robin Pickett with his late father Graham. Photo courtesy of the Pickett family.

He said: “From the age of five he took me on fishing trips to lakes, streams and the ocean and taught me how to respect and learn from our natural world.”

Mr Pickett knew he wanted to pursue a career in ecotourism but put his dream on hold while he cared for his father, who was terminally ill with cancer.

Following Graham’s death in 2017 Mr Pickett travelled to the Kingfisher Bay Resort on Fraser Island to live out his dreams as an eco ranger.

He said: “My father was keen for me to pursue my ambition to travel to Australia and when the time was right I made my move.”

Robin Pickett welcome Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to Fraser Island. Photo: Robin Pickett.Robin Pickett welcome Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to Fraser Island. Photo: Robin Pickett.

As part of his role Mr Pickett gives presentation on the history and geography of the island, as well as running kids programmes and activities such as canoe, segway and archery activities.

Mr Pickett added: “The message of conservation is central to this role and forms part of the ecotourism ethos of the resort.”

However it was last week’s “unexpected highlight” of meeting Harry and Meghan which cemented how far the Beccles-born man had come.

Mr Pickett added: “We waited on the jetty and saw the couple approaching, my palms grew sweaty but I felt surprisingly calm as the couple were relaxed and took their time.

“I shook Meghan’s, then Harry’s hand, made the English connection stating I was from Suffolk, then welcomed them to the island.

“It was a very proud moment and it was quite surreal to realise that I was meeting royalty and so far from English soil.”

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