The Sussexes arrive in New Zealand to begin the last leg of the Royal Tour. After departing Sydney this morning, they arrived 3-4 hours after in Auckland via a Royal New Zealand Air Force 757.
They were greeted by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Wellington Mayor Justin Lester and other local dignitaries upon arrival.
Harry was given a box by the Invictus delegation, while Jacinda apologised for the strong Wellington winds.
An arrival video:
Ahead of their arrival she said: “It’s wonderful news that the Duke and Duchess are coming to New Zealand as part of their first major tour outside the United Kingdom. I know they will receive a very warm Kiwi welcome wherever they go. I hope many New Zealanders will have the opportunity to see the Duke and Duchess as they visit some of our beautiful provinces and national parks, and experience our hospitality.” Adding that “The Duke and Duchess have a particular interest in youth, mental health and conservation, and they will have the opportunity to meet many New Zealanders working in those important areas, while also getting to enjoy some of our unique environment”
After the welcome at the airport, Meghan and Harry were transported away in a silver Mercedes bearing the number plate ROYAL1, and taken to nearby Government House for a traditional welcome.
Meghan was all smiles as she greeted people with a hongi, which is the traditional Māori greeting, and is performed by two people pressing their noses together; some include, at the same time, the touching of foreheads
Harry and Meghan watched a Haka performed by a group from Hato Paora, a Fielding Maori Boys’ boarding school.
The ceremony was attended by schoolchildren that Meghan and Harry greeted.
Meghan and Harry went inside for a little chat and a group photo with the Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy and Sir David.
They signed the visitors’ book
Harry was then honoured with a 21-gun salute and inspected personnel from New Zealand’s Army, Navy and Air Force.
The next stop was the Pukeahu National War Memorial, where Meghan and Harry laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The Pukeahu National War Memorial Park was opened back in 2015 as a national place for New Zealanders to “remember and reflect on this country’s experience of war, military conflict and peacekeeping, and how that experience shapes our ideals and sense of national identity.”.
Meghan and Harry were shown the UK War Memorial, designed to show the trunks of the Royal Oak and Pohutakawa trees intertwining to form a single canopy.
The memorial, which features stained glass leaves and has the silhouette of a soldier between the branches, was unveiled by then-foreign secretary Boris Johnson in July 2017.
Then it was time for a walkabout to meet the crowd. Meghan and Harry’s arrival into the public area sent the crowd into meltdown, with tears shed, screams heard and presents given.
Jan Richardson has been waiting since 8 o’clock in the morning and decided to opt for a direct approach when asking for a picture with the couple. He later told reporters: ‘I decided to be quite blunt and asked three times, “Can I get a photo, can I get a photo?” – ‘Harry said, “Yeah, sure!” Meghan started to talk to them, and I thought I’m just going to ask. There was a contemplation about staying overnight for the fun of it.’
Harry’s name brother was seen with this sign
The couple were given gifts including a Buzzy Bee, a popular toy from New Zealand. Harry held it in celebration after it was passed down through the rows of crowds.
Merenia Donne who works for the Kotuku Foundation for assistance animals described the meeting with Meghan and Harry who also greeted her dog, Nina!
“Meghan thanked me very much for the kiwi soft toy that I gave her and said she’d look forward to seeing me again because I’ll be outside the café tomorrow to say hello. She was delightful, very open, Californian, and relaxed. They met Nina the dog, but they were more interested in talking to the children.”
Meghan met with several woman, including one who told Meghan that she’d flown all the way from California to meet her. She later revealed that she was so grateful to speak to her and revealed to Meghan that she was biracial.
Meghan was gifted flowers, a teddy bear, what appeared to be a bag of lollies, and a red flower which she pinned to her jacket, underneath her Anzac poppy.
A very sign I liked very much (haha)
A video from the walkabout:
The Sussexes arrive in New Zealand and Meghan wore:
For her first part of the day in New Zealand, Meghan stunned in the Banks trench by New Zealand designer Karen Walker.
Underneath she wore the ASOS Maternity Wiggle Mini Dress
She styled with her Sarah Flint Jay pumps
She accessorized with her Birks Muse Citrine and Diamond drop earrings.
If you missed Meghan and Harry’s departure from Sydney, click on the link here to read the blog post about it.
Meghan and Harry will attend a reception hosted by the Governor General later tonight, to mark the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand.