Prince Harry and Meghan take part in traditional welcome in New Zealand

Kristine Tarbert
Senior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

Prince Harry and Meghan took part in a traditional Māori welcoming ceremony on their first day in New Zealand, the final stop off the couple’s royal tour.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived in Wellington, alongside New Zealand’s Invictus Games athletes and were welcomed by NZ prime minister Jacinda Ardern.

Harry and Meghan are welcomed by NZ prime minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo: Getty
They arrived with New Zealand Invictus Games athletes. Photo: Getty

They then headed to Government House where they were officially welcomed to the country.

Both Harry and Meghan took part in the traditional greeting, the hongi, where one person presses their nose and forehead against another.

Meghan meets Maori elders. Photo: Getty
The Duchess had perfected the hongi greeting. Photo: Getty

Maori warriors in traditional dress were in attendance, and a pōwhiri was performed – the welcome involved speeches, dancing and singing. The couple also watched the Haka performed by members of New Zealand’s Armed Forces.

At one point Harry crouched down in the grass, a symbol of the royal ‘accepting’ a traditional challenge by Maori warriors. Meghan watched on with the Maori elders.

A pōwhiri was performed. Photo: Getty
Traditional warriors greet the royals. Photo: Getty
Prince Harry ‘accepts’ a challenge from the warriors. Photo: Getty

Prince Harry also took a salute from an honour guard, before the couple spent some time meeting local school children and scouts groups.

They then went inside Government House for a chat with New Zealand’s Governor General Patsy Reddy and her husband David Gascoigne.

Prince Harry also took a salute from an honour guard. Photo: Getty
Meghan and Harry meet local school children. Photo: Getty

After their official welcome, Harry and Meghan went to the Pukeahu National War Memorial to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The royals lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Photo: Getty

Inside Prince Harry was also presented with the Badge in Gold for his work helping injured veterans.

The visit to the memorial was also one of the only opportunities for the public to see the Duke and Duchess, and more than 5,000 people gathered for the chance to meet the pair.

Thousands gathered to see the royals at the memorial. Photo: Getty

Harry and Meghan will spend their evening at an official dinner, before kicking off with breakfast at a cafe and then heading to the Abel Tasman National Park on Monday.

Meghan took the time in the air to change into a black ASOS maternity dress, brown Karen Walker trench coat and black Sarah Flint heels. To suit the windy conditions the Duchess had also decided to wear her hair up.

Photo: Getty

Prince Harry and Meghan farewelled Australia on a windy morning in Sydney, as they head off for the final leg of their royal tour.

After delivering moving tributes at the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games last night, the Duke and Duchess now travel to New Zealand.

Their Royal Highnesses were farewelled by officials on the tarmac before boarding the Royal New Zealand Air Force plane.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle farewell Australia. Photo: Getty
Harry and Meghan farewell officials in Sydney. Photo: Getty

Despite the wind wreaking havoc with her hair, Meghan looked flawless wearing a BOSS by Hugo Boss Slim-Fit Soft Jersey Dress in a dark pink.

The dress style Eodora costs $450AUD. She complemented the look with nude heels

It was a windy day in Sydney but the Duchess looked flawless. Photo: Getty
The royal tour now concludes in New Zealand. Photo: Getty

Prince Harry and wife Meghan received standing ovations on Saturday night when they took to the stage to thank the 500 wounded and ill defence veterans from 18 nations who competed at the games in Sydney, and their army of supporters.

The royal couple joined the 12,000-strong crowd in clapping and cheering throughout the two-hour long ceremony that included performances by Perth rock outfit Birds of Tokyo and the gospel singers from the US-based Kingdom Choir who performed at Meghan and Harry’s wedding in May.

Meghan gave a moving speech at the closing ceremony. Photo: Getty

The closing ceremony was the final event on the royal couple’s official itinerary for their 10-day visit to Sydney, Dubbo, Melbourne and Fraser Island.

New Zealand is where they will wrap up their 16-day regional tour that has also included Fiji and Tonga.

Meghan chose the Invictus closing ceremony to make her only public speech of the Australian leg of the tour, praising the hundreds of friends and family who supported the competitors all the way to the finish line and beyond.

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