Meghan and Harry stopped by a Wellington’s Maranui Café at 10am to meet with representatives of mental health projects
Ahead of their arrival, cafe owner Bronwyn Kelly told reporters she was shocked to learn that royal staffers had been in her cafe earlier this year sussing out appropriate venues for the couple.
“We didn’t believe it, we thought it was a fairy tale, for us it was completely out of the blue. Staff from the royal palace when they were doing the pre-planning came to Maranui, they really loved the vibe, the atmosphere and I think that it’s because it’s right beside the beach, it really offered something … that coastal but unique sort of feeling.”
Now that the day has arrived Kelly said she was “super nervous”. “We got asked and obviously didn’t quite believe it was going to happen and now today’s the day, super nervous.”
The popular café is located in a century-old building that also houses New Zealand’s second-oldest surf club. It is co-owned by Bronwyn Kelly and her friend Katie Richardson.
Inside the cafe, Meghan and Harry flitted between tables discussing the plight of the individuals who had joined them, with Prince Harry discussing the necessity to normalise discussions surrounding mental illness. They met three tables of young people from organizations such as Voices of Hope, Key to Life, Lifeline and the national 1737 helpline service.
Their interest and Harry’s willingness to talk about his own battles will have had a significant and swift impact, according to one guest. “Today I guarantee that lives were saved,” said Jazz Thornton who is the co-founder of Voices of Hope, a group promoting mental wellbeing, empowerment, and recovery. “It means that people begin to realize that mental health doesn’t discriminate, that it doesn’t matter if you’re the Prince, or if you are a student or if you are a male or a female – everyone has mental health and anyone can struggle with it.”
The couple also met Ezekiel Raui, who actually met Meghan and Harry earlier this year at Buckingham Palace when he was awarded a Queen’s Young Leaders Award. She spoke with them about the importance of inter-generational change and said it was a dream that the role of Key to Life Trust may one day become redundant. Ezekiel represented Key to Life, a mental health support network.
“It’s a real topic that needs to be discussed,” Prince Harry said to Ezekiel “There’s no silver bullet and I think people need to understand that. I take my hat off to you guys.”
During the visit Meghan ordered a cup of tea while Prince Harry stuck to drinking water.
Before leaving a group, photo was taken with the staff of the café
Prior to departing the cafe, the pair stopped to greet a select group of Houghton Valley School children. When Meghan saw them, she was quick to run inside the café again to ask if a plate of cakes left for her and Harry could be given to them.
The kids’ teacher, Michelle Pontifex decided to walk the kids down to the cafe, saying the opportunity was too good to miss. “It’s just an experience, it’s not every day they get to experience something like this in their neighborhood. What little girl and what little boy doesn’t want to see a princess and a prince. It’s almost fairytale like.’
At the end of the line of kids, Meghan approached the 5-year-old Joe Young who was overcome with emotion when meeting Meghan
Meghan kneeled down to his level and attempted to comfort him. Deputy principal Monica Mercury said afterwards that the excitement was a little much for him. Meghan told Joe he was “really cute and really shy”, she said.
For the morning engagement, Meghan nailed a casual-chic outfit wearing the Club Monaco Ellayne trench coat in Seaweed Green
Underneath she wore the Trani sweater by Australian brand Jac + Jack.
She wore her trusteed Outland Denim Harriet
Meghan’s boots are the Stuart Weitzman Veruka style
She accesorized with the The Boh Runga Discologo Studs which was giftes to Meghan Prime
Minister Jacinda Ardern.
We’ll see the couple again soon visiting the Abel Tasman Park next!