Today it’s Aucklanders turn to catch a glimpse of Meghan and Harry, as they sample northern hospitality after their visit to the capital.
But first, Meghan and Harry started their day at the Government House in Wellington to meet 18-year-old Eva McGauley who was diagnosed with asopharyngeal carcinoma – a rare type of head and neck cancer – when she was 16. She was invited to attend the Prime Minister’s Reception in Auckland but due to her health, was unable to fly, but when Harry and Meghan heard her story, they invited her for a quick catch-up at Government House instead.
She was received with hugs from both Meghan and Harry. Speaking about the meeting on her Instagram page, Eva said:
“I am so honoured and thankful to have been invited to Government House to meet with Meghan and Harry this morning!!! They are such kind down to earth people who were really interested in the work EvasWish does. We were welcomed so warmly by Dame Patsy Reedy and Sir David Gascoigne into their lovely home and it was one of the most memorable and wonderful moments of my life. Thank you so much to everyone who made this happen.”
Meghan and Harry then continued the day with a visit to Redvale on the North Shore to dedicate a 20-hectare area of native bush to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy. They were greeted at the North Shore Riding Club by local iwi, Queen Elizabeth II Trust member Gina Solomon and Pinehill school children.
Meghan and Harry then enjoyed a singing Waita, while Meghan in particular, looked concerned when the skies opened, and rain started bucketing down on the children and had no umbrellas. The children on the other hand, looked thrilled!
Meghan and Harry then donned gloves and planted native trees with children from Trees of Survival. While Harry planted a puriri tree, indigenous to the northern part of the North Island, Meghan planted a kōwhai tree. Omid Scobie tweeted:
“Duchess Meghan planted a New Zealand kōwhai tree, which was one of the distinctive flora she had representing the Commonwealth country on her wedding veil. It produces bright yellow flowers in spring and is a favourite food of tree geckos, tui, bellbird and kererū pigeons.”
Meghan could be heard telling the children ”Well done” for their efforts.
Then it was time for a gumboot throwing competition that Meghan won, despite having to ask the children how to throw her gumboot properly.
10-year-old Ryen Anderson was on Meghan’s team and said afterwards that she told himHarry reckoned he would win next time they competed.
Isabella Iti said that the couple “looked like they were really trying to throw the gum boot as far as they could. Continuing: “I think she was thinking that there was no chance that she would win. But she did.” Meeting Meghan was “awesome” and “amazing,” Isabella said.
For her efforts Meghan was awarded a gumboot-shaped trophy.
Meghan took particular interest in the school children, chatting with them animatedly and asking them lots of questions.
The visit ended with Harry and Meghan performing hongi with members of the Queen Elizabeth II Trust. Harry also gave a speech, saying he and his wife were delighted to be there “and the rain is a blessing”. New Zealand was one of the first countries to join the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy, which was set up in 2015, and Prince Harry commended New Zealand’s participation.
“As I learnt in the car there are no incentives for joining the QCC.”
They unveiled a plaque
And received some amazing gifts for Baby Sussex – a NZ merino Swandri blanket and a pair of
For today’s rainy outing Meghan wore the Fathom Jacket by the New Zealand based designer
Karen Walker in Navy Blue.
Styled with the charcoal wash pair of J Crew Toothpick Jeans
And the Lavender Hill Scoop Neck T-Shirt.
And the Meghan Muck Boot Reign Wellies.
And finally she accessorised with her Tattoo Diamond Pendant by Jessica McCormick, & the Boh
Runga Discologo earrings Jacinda Ardern gifted her.
Next: Meghan and Harry will visit a charity called Pillars that operates across New Zealand and
supports children who have a parent in prison through the provision of special mentoring schemes.