Crowds greet Harry and Meghan as the Sussexes go to Sussex

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex viewed a rare copy of the American Declaration of Independence as they toured the county that inspired their royal titles.

Harry and Meghan had a busy day of engagements on their first joint official visit to Sussex on Wednesday.

The couple were greeted by excited crowds when they kicked off their tour in Chichester, the county town of West Sussex.

Meghan meets the public
Meghan meets the public

The duke and the US-born former actress saw a rare copy of the American Declaration of Independence at Edes House.

It is one of only two contemporary handwritten ceremonial manuscript copies. The other is the signed copy at the National Archives in Washington DC.

Meghan was vocal in her interest, saying: "My goodness, wow, what are the chances? That's amazing."

Harry and Meghan
Harry and Meghan

Before she left, she spoke about the rarity of the document being in Sussex, saying: "I just can't believe it."

The couple were greeted by the Lord Lieutenant of West Sussex, Susan Pyper, and mayor of Chichester Martyn Bell.

But they spent most of their time speaking to crowds, including hordes of schoolchildren.

Meghan
Meghan

Both were visibly delighted at meeting several younger children.

Harry patted the head of a baby and Meghan greeted a blonde child eating an apple who was held up to the barriers.

Nine-year-old Tilly Palmer, standing outside The Prebendal School, where she is a pupil, said: "Meghan asked me what we were doing today. I said netball, and she said they don't have that in the USA.

The Duke of Sussex meets a dog
The Duke of Sussex meets a dog

"We said: 'Welcome to Sussex', and she shook our hands. She was lovely and very pretty."

Meghan was wearing a camel Armani coat, a dark green Hugo Boss skirt and a shirt from And Other Stories paired with nude suede stilettos and a small green bag.

Harry was dressed in a grey suit and white shirt.

Harry and Meghan
Harry and Meghan

The couple also visited Bognor Regis, where they officially opened the University of Chichester's Engineering and Digital Technology Park.

The duke and duchess both donned safety goggles to watch an experiment in one of the laboratories.

They listened to the student chamber orchestra play a piece from Vivaldi's Four Seasons while technology students practised filming and recording the performance in the state-of-the-art sound stage.

Harry meets a baby
Harry meets a baby

The couple chatted with cellist Laura Ritchie, who is originally from Chicago, and joked that she has lost her accent.

The 44-year-old, who is professor of learning and teaching in the music department, said it was "fantastic, really wonderful and such a privilege" to meet the royals.

"They joked that I've lost my accent, Americans think I sound British," she added.