Maori greeting for Meghan and Harry

Maori greeting for Meghan and Harry

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex being given a traditional Maori welcome Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption The royal couple performed a hongi upon arrival in Wellington

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been welcomed to New Zealand with a traditional Maori greeting.

They performed a hongi, where they touched noses and foreheads with Maori elders, as they arrived in the country – the last stop on their 16-day tour.

Harry and Meghan were greeted with a powhiri – a ceremony involving singing and dancing – in Wellington.

The event, at Government House, also saw members of the New Zealand Defence Force perform a haka for the couple.

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Image caption A haka was performed at Government House

Image copyright Getty Images

Image caption The Duke of Sussex also got involved in the welcome ceremony

They were greeted at the airport by Prime Minister Jacinda Arden, having flown in from Australia with the Kiwi Invictus team.

The pair then made their way to the residence of Governor-General of New Zealand Patsy Reddy for the reception.

The 2018 Invictus Games had come to an end in Sydney the previous day with a closing ceremony, where both Meghan and Harry made speeches.

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Image caption Their first engagement was at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park

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Image caption The pair laid ferns and a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior

After the arrival ceremony, their first engagement was a visit to the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, where they laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior.

The park includes the UK War Memorial, designed to show the trunks of the Royal Oak and Pohutakawa trees intertwining to form a single canopy.

Returning to Government House, they held meetings with Ms Arden and opposition leader Simon Bridges before an event to mark the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand.

The duchess wore a necklace featuring a traditional Maori design.

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Image caption Meghan gave a speech praising the women who fought for universal suffrage

Image copyright Reuters

Image caption The couple held a meeting with Prime Minister Jacinda Arden – all wearing black, one of the national colours of New Zealand

In a speech about the right to vote, Meghan said the women who fought for the move were “universally admired”.

New Zealand was the first country in the world to give the vote to women.

She added: “In looking forward to this very special occasion, I reflected on the importance of this achievement, but also the larger impact of what this symbolises.

“Because yes – women’s suffrage is about feminism, but feminism is about fairness.”

Image copyright Reuters

Image caption Some royal fans had their favourites

Visits to Auckland and Rotorua will also form part of the New Zealand leg of their tour, before they leave on Thursday to return to the UK.

Their marathon trip has also seen them visit Fiji and Tonga.

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