Prince Harry helps Sydney celebrate navy centenary

Prince Harry salutes members of the Royal Australian Navy prior to boarding the Leeuwin on October 5, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

SYDNEY Britain's Prince Harry glided through Sydney's sun-dappled harbor aboard a navy ship on Saturday, as thousands of people crowded the shoreline to catch a glimpse of royalty and celebrate the centenary of the fledgling Australian navy fleet's first arrival to the famed waterway.

The prince, dressed in a crisp white uniform, coasted past the Opera House on board the Australian navy's HMAS Leeuwin, one of dozens of warships from 17 nations in Sydney this weekend for the International Fleet Review. The review, essentially a parade of ships, commemorates the arrival of the original Royal Australian Navy fleet a century ago.

Harry, fourth in line to the British throne, is in Australia's largest city for just one day as part of a quick trip Down Under. Later Saturday, he is slated to greet the public before attending a reception with Prime Minister Tony Abbott at Kirribilli House, Abbott's official residence in Sydney. The prince flies to the Western Australia capital, Perth, on Sunday morning for a brief visit before leaving the country.

Australia's first navy fleet of seven cruisers and destroyers entered Sydney's harbor for the first time on Oct. 4, 1913.

About 40 warships, 16 tall ships and 8,000 sailors are participating in this weekend's celebrations, which will feature a light show and massive fireworks display over the harbor Saturday night. The event is expected to draw 1.4 million spectators.

Following a 100-gun salute, Governor-General Quentin Byrce, who represents Australia's head of state, Queen Elizabeth II, joined Harry on board the Leeuwin to officially review the ships.

The participating warships are from the U.S., China, Britain, Brunei, Micronesia, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Spain, Thailand and Tonga.

Harry's trip to Australia marks his first official visit representing the Queen.

Comments