Harry And Meghan Meet Adoring Crowds In New Zealand
A rousing haka, gifts from enthusiastic crowds and a fire alarm have welcomed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to New Zealand for the final leg of their regional tour.
Leaving behind the warmth of Australia and the Pacific for cooler climates, Prince Harry and Meghan were greeted by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and a cheering crowd upon their landing in Wellington on Sunday.
Adorned in a checked Karen Walker coat and a simple, black ASOS Maternity dress, the duchess opted for a sleek bun hairdo that may have been as much practicality as style, with the capital's infamous wind rearing its head.
There was loud applause as Meghan began a speech in the evening - at a reception celebrating the 125th anniversary of women's suffrage in New Zealand - with the words "tena koutou katoa" ("greetings to all", in Maori).
"Suffrage is not simply about the right to vote but also what that represents: the basic and fundamental human right of being able to participate in choices for your future," she told guests at Government House.
That followed a small hitch in evenings proceedings, after a false fire alarm - set off by a bathroom air freshening device - temporarily left attendees out in the cold and holding their drinks - just as the royal couple were due to sit down with the leader of the opposition and prime minister.
The pair's formal welcome to the country began earlier in the day with a quiet newhongi - a greeting involving a touching of noses to share a breath - with Maori elders.
A booming haka performed by Kiwi military personnel followed, part of a powhiri - or traditional welcoming ceremony.
While Harry has previously visited the Shaky Isles, last in 2015, it might be the Duchess who has seen more of the nation after a campervan road trip across the country in 2014.
The pomp of 21-gun salutes and military bands on Government House's green lawn on Sunday will be world's apart from the fly fishing and whale watching of Meghan's last tour.
Although the tour is nearly two weeks in now, the enthusiasm hasn't waned among Kiwi fans, with roars erupting as the royals arrived at their first public event in the country.
A crowd of about 2000, standing as far as eight people in, crammed around the square at the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, where the royal couple laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and the duke was awarded a Badge in Gold by the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association for his work with veterans.
And Meghan received a badge too: in the form of a red rose brooch from 10-year-old Alexandra MacKay, who had been waiting in the crowd - the duchess immediately pinning it to her coat.
"It felt really amazing, it felt really good to see her put it on," Alexandra said.
Harry and Meghan will spend three more days in New Zealand before ending their 16-day tour across Australia, Tonga and Fiji, and New Zealand on Wednesday.
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