The Duke of Sussex joked that being skilled at unveiling plaques "runs in the family" as he took part in a dedication ceremony on Fraser Island in Queensland yesterday.

With the pregnant Duchess of Sussex taking a rest from the busy schedule of the 16-day tour Down Under, the Duke was carrying out the majority of yesterday's engagements alone.

Harry was greeted by the Butchulla People and took part in a traditional Welcome to Country smoking ceremony on Fraser Island.

He spoke under the island's satinay trees in Pile Valley, some of them up to 1000 years old. Such trees were used to build the London docks in the 1930s.

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Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex poses for a photo with Butchulla People during a dedication ceremony of the forests of K'gari to the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy. Photo / AP
Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex poses for a photo with Butchulla People during a dedication ceremony of the forests of K'gari to the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy. Photo / AP

Before Harry began speaking, local Marilyn Clarke, 72, called out: "You are better-looking in person!" He blushed and replied: "I will take that as a compliment."

Clarke later told news.com.au: "I don't know what's gonna come out of my mouth.

"When he came out I just thought, 'Ooh, he's even better in the flesh. He better tell his wife about me'."

Children presented the Duke with native flowers and performed a traditional song and dance. Afterwards, he knelt down to meet them all and share a joke.

Dedicating the Forests of K'Gari to the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy, the Duke said the initiative was "established in honour of my grandmother, the Queen's, lifetime of service to the Commonwealth".

"This is actually the second time this plaque has been unveiled, which I know is highly unusual," he said. "The first time was by my father, the Prince of Wales, in Bundaberg earlier this year, when he was visiting.

"Luckily, we are both highly skilled when it comes to unveiling plaques ... It runs in the family."

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex walk along Kingfisher Bay Jetty during a visit to Fraser Island. Photo / AP
Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex walk along Kingfisher Bay Jetty during a visit to Fraser Island. Photo / AP

The Duchess, who has modified her programme to take into account her pregnancy, was absent from engagements most of the day, which included a bumpy four-wheel-drive journey across sandy roads.

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The couple flew to Hervey Bay yesterday morning, then boarded separate boats for their days.

On Fraser Island, local elders and national park rangers told Harry about its beauty, biodiversity and cultural significance.

While Meghan spent the day resting, she did emerge to meet the people, much to the excitement of locals who had been waiting at Fraser Island all day to catch a glimpse of her.

The couple reunited about 4pm to walk along the jetty at Kingfisher Bay, and collected teddy bears and handmade quilts for their baby from enthusiastic fans.

- Daily Telegraph and news.com.au