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Prince Harry Gets Protective of Pregnant Meghan Markle When an American Sailor Gives Bear Hugs

Maura Hohman

Prince Harry‘s protective instincts as a first-time dad-to-be are already kicking in!

While watching a sailing event on Sydney Harbor on Sunday, the first official day of the Invictus Games, Harry, 34, received a bear hug from an American sailor. The athlete wrapped his arms tightly around the Duke of Sussex and patted his back as Harry’s pregnant wife Meghan Markle, who’s due in the spring, observed and laughed. The embrace was so intense that Harry’s feet even lifted off the ground!

“Now that’s a hug!” said Meghan, chuckling. “Nicely done.”

After Meghan, 37, introduced herself with a handshake and a much tamer hug, Harry advised the sailor to not give her the same greeting. “No, I know,” the man said, laughing with the couple.

RELATED: Did Prince Harry Just Reveal Whether He and Meghan Markle Are Having a Boy or Girl?

Perhaps the American athlete’s enthusiasm was prompted by participating in the inaugural boat race. This year marks the first time the Invictus Games have included a sailing competition.

The Paralympic-style competition for wounded and recovering service members and veterans from around the world includes sports such as wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball and indoor rowing, and has been held around the world since 2014.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Also on Sunday, Prince Harry had a laugh with some cyclists at another Invictus event in Sydney. Following the race, an Aussie athlete asked the royal to sign his budgie smugglers, which in the U.S. are better known as Speedos.

According to royals correspondent Russell Myers, Harry jokingly agreed, but only if the cyclist would wear the swimsuit on his head.

Prince Harry

However, royals aren’t allowed to sign items for fans (exceptions are made for guestbooks!), and the prince followed protocol by politely declining, reported Australia’s ABC News. There were clearly no hard feelings, though, as Harry was later gifted his own pair of budgie smugglers and happily wore them on top of his slacks, as photos from the fun day show.