When Prince Harry first visited Belfast in September, he took time to shake hands with everyone who wanted to meet him among the crowd outside the MAC theatre.
Yesterday, when the young royal returned to Northern Ireland’s capital city, this time with his fiancee Meghan Markle, the couple made similar efforts to say hello to what was a this time a much larger crowd of well-wishers, outside the Crown Liquor Saloon.
The pair arrived in dark four-wheel drive vehicles to cheers shortly before 1pm, and stayed inside the famous bar for the best part of an hour.
Word of their presence meant that the number of onlookers had grown to many hundreds in number.
The couple worked their way round the crowd, which surged forward to greet them from behind crash barriers.
Among the people who shook hands with Ms Markle was Geraldine O’Kane, from Magherafelt, who congratulated the beaming actress on her forthcoming wedding.
“I just said, we are delighted for you. I was so excited I can’t remember her reply.”
Ms O’Kane had found out about the visit earlier in the day when she was in the Body Shop, and came round to wait to see the visiting couple.
Prince Harry and Meghan continued their walkabout despite a sudden downpour of rain, which did not mar the enthusiasm of the crowd.
Among them, standing under an umbrella, were Ken and Maud Dugan from Newtownards, who were celebrating their 33rd wedding anniversary yesterday.
“It was just wonderful,” said Maud.
“It brings a lovely bout of happiness to everyone amid the doom and gloom.
“They radiate happiness. With Will and Kate their neighbours, it will be a lovely team of royals, all together.”
Mrs Dugan, who once visited Princess Diana’s grave at Althorp, said: “It is a pity she didn’t live to see this.”