Downpour Down Under as Harry arrives for 2018 Invictus Games launch in Sydney

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BRITAIN-ROYALS/

Prince Harry has arrived in Australia ahead of the launch of the 2018 Invictus Games - and was greeted with a torrential downpour.

Harry flew to Sydney to promote his Paralympic-style tournament for injured, wounded and sick servicemen and women and veterans, which will be hosted by the south-eastern Australian city next year.

The prince jetted in on a scheduled flight from Singapore, where he had played in a fundraising polo match on Monday in aid of his Africa-based charity Sentebale, which supports youngsters with HIV.

He left the sweltering temperatures of the South East Asian country behind and arrived to the cool conditions of Sydney that soon brought a torrential rainstorm.

Harry's visit has generated keen interest among the Australian media and he was pictured soon after arriving at Sydney airport, and later travelling in a chauffeur-driven limousine to his hotel with his private secretary Ed Lane Fox.

The royal visit comes as honeymooners Pippa Middleton and James Matthews continue their traditional post-wedding break in Australia, and are believed to be in Perth.

On Wednesday, Harry will launch the 2018 Invictus Games in Sydney and begin the official countdown to the tournament.

Harry will be joined by senior figures from Australian national life for the event marking 500 days to the start of the international sporting event.

Next year, more than 500 competitors from 17 nations will take part in 11 adaptive sports across Greater Sydney, including at Sydney Olympic Park and on and around the city's harbour.

During the launch Harry will go on a walkabout, meeting Australians along Sydney harbour-side, before watching demonstrations of adaptive sports for people with disabilities, from wheelchair rugby and sitting volleyball to wheelchair basketball.

The Invictus Games, which this year will be staged in Toronto, Canada, were founded by the prince and first held in London in 2014 to great acclaim from the competitors and spectators.

Harry is patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, which oversees delivery of the tournament, which was hosted by Orlando, Florida, in 2016.