WHILE thousands of Melbournians lined the streets to get a glimpse of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on Thursday morning, Carlton AFLW midfielder Nicola Stevens was lucky enough to attend an official function.

Through her ambassadorial role with Dementia Australia, the 25-year-old was invited by the Governor of Victoria Linda Dessau to a reception for Victorian Youth Leaders at Government House.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were present at the event and mingled with the guests – including a very excited Stevens.

“It was an absolute honour to be invited to the reception for Victorian Youth Leaders by the Governor of Victoria. I was so shocked when I received the invitation,” Stevens said.

“It was very exciting – I even got to shake Prince Harry’s hand. He was really lovely and very genuine.

“It’s definitely an experience I’ll never forget.”

Stevens has been extremely busy during the off-season, having recently completed a national tour for 'Dementia Australia – Small actions. Big difference'. She travelled to Hobart, Canberra and the Northern Territory, giving talks to help people gain a greater understanding of dementia.

Raising awareness for the disease is a cause close to Stevens’ heart, after her mum Ann was diagnosed with early onset dementia in 2010.

Earlier this year, the AFLW All Australian also took part in a number of Dementia Australia’s ‘Melbourne Memory Walk & Jogs’ across Victoria.

Dementia Australia is the charity for people with dementia and their families and carers. As the peak body, it provides advocacy, support services, education and information. An estimated 425,000 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach more than 1.1 million by 2056.