Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Hold Hands and Show Emotions on Final Day of Their Royal Tour: Best Pics
And that’s a wrap! Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s 16-day tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand has been quite the whirlwind, and with a baby on board too. And the newlyweds finished up their final day in Rotorua, New Zealand with a packed schedule.
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First up was a visit to Te Papaiouru Marae, where they were treated to a formal powhiri, or Maori welcoming ceremony, followed by an official lunch. Meghan looked chic as usual in a Stella McCartney dress which she teamed with a pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes but it was her traditional Maori cloak, or Korowai, which she and her husband were both presented with, that really stood out.
Later that afternoon, the couple visited a Kiwi breeding programme in Rainbow Springs, where they learned all about the country’s national bird, which has become increasingly endangered in recent years. They met conservationists working to protect the species and were given the opportunity to name two young kiwi chicks which had recently hatched.
After a public walkabout, the pair headed to Redwoods Tree Walk – a 700m-long walkway of suspension bridges between 117-year-old Redwood trees. The forest is also home to a mountain biking community, members of which were invited to the forest to meet the royal couple.
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This was their 76th and final engagement of the tour and the couple looked visibly moved as their journey drew to a close. After spending way more than their allocated time meeting well-wishers, the couple were due to return to Auckland this evening, before departing for London tomorrow.
Meghan has become quite adept at the Hongi, the traditional Maori greeting during her 4-day visit to New Zealand. As usual her husband Harry looked on with pride in his eyes.
Addressing the gathered dignitaries, the Duke of Sussex spoke for around a minute in Maori – with gasps of awe and smiles when he used the word “whaiaipo”, or sweetheart.
He said: “Thank you for the beautiful cloak you have so kindly gifted tonmyself and the Duchess. We appreciate the skill of the weavers who made it, and the aroha (compassion) that has gone into its creation. This cloak is a taonga (possession) that will be cherished in our family.
“One of the joys of our visit to New Zealand has been the opportunity to meet so many young New Zealanders who are devoting their talents and energy to making a difference.
“There are creative, gifted and caring Te Arawa Rangatahi (young people) here, who are using their talents to preserve and promote the Maori language, to support mental wellbeing, and to achieve in areas that will benefit their communities, and their country.”
Meghan is presented with a traditional New Zealand Pounamu necklace in a Maori design by Kiri Nathan. According to the brand’s website, the necklace “denotes integrity, strength, status and power.” The special piece was gifted to her by New Zealand governor General Patsy Reddy.
The couple met local well-wishers who had gathered for a final glimpse of the pair. The Korowai which the Duke and Duchess wore were inspired by the coat of arms for the Sussexes, featuring silk in blue, gold, white and red. Artist Norma Sturley said: “The taniko (weaving technique) represents the coming together of two people and cultures with each side representing their whakapapa (family and genealogy).
“The duchess’s taniko pattern features three quills from the coat of arms representing the powers of words and communication, and the Californian sunshine is shown in the use of rays of gold.
“The blue speaks of the separation of Aotearoa (New Zealand) and England with the Pacific Ocean, as well as the duchess’s links to the Pacific Ocean.
“The red symbolises royalty. The taniko weaving design also showcases manaakitanga (care) as (elder) Ngati Whakaue want to nurture the royal couple as a thank you for visiting Papaiouru.”
At most points in their final day of their tour, Harry and Meghan were characteristically hand-in-hand. Apart from during the display of traditional dancing where Harry stood solo admiring the skills of the local Maoris.
The Duchess of Sussex removed her shoes during a visit to Te Papaiouru, Ohinemutu, in Rotorua, before a lunch in honour of Harry and Meghan.
The Duke of Sussex was handed a carved weapon – and warned he should not take it to Twickenham when England play New Zealand. He was given a tewhatewha, a Maori weapon with a point at one end and an axe at the other. Trevor Maxwell, on the local district council, said: “I am sure you are going to Twickenham when the All Blacks play England on November 11 – make sure you don’t take that.”
A pudding cooked by geothermal steam was on the menu as Harry and Meghan sampled traditional fare at a formal lunch in their honour. Rotorua is known for its geothermal activity – and slightly sulphuric smell – and the energy can be harnessed in the kitchen.
During their visit to meet the Te Arawa people, Harry and Meghan were catered for by Masterchef New Zealand 2014 winners, sisters Kasey and Karena Bird. The couple were shown the kitchens by Tekariki Mitchell, 50, and his mother, Rene Mitchell, 70.
The pair looked on in interest as Mr Mitchell showed them the rising steam and a traditional golden steamed pudding that was cooking inside. His mother then gave the couple a demonstration of how to make the local dessert, using a recipe learnt from years in the kitchen alongside her mother and aunties.
Meghan, who has a keen interest in cookery, was in her element. “They said our way of cooking food with the Hangi (geothermal oven) was so wonderful,” said Rene. “I told them how I learnt through my mum, and that the recipe itself is very simply but over the years people have added their own variations, such as a handful of raisins.”
Mr Mitchell then fetched a completed pudding for the couple to compare next to the raw ingredients and mixture. “They couldn’t believe how different it looked,” he said.
The Sussexes were served the dessert alongside rhubarb and velvet custard for lunch, after a seafood platter, pork and chicken with gravy, stuffing and seasonable vegetables. They had requested traditional food and wanted to eat exactly what their hosts were eating. Kasey, 28, said: “We plated up their food and then went back in there – they had eaten nearly all of it so we were like ‘oh my gosh!'”
The couple looked on in awe as they visited a Kiwi breeding programme in Rainbow Springs, where they learned all about the country’s national bird. They met conservationists working to protect the species and were given the opportunity to name two three-day old chicks – Meghan called hers Koha (gift) and Harry named his Tihei (sneeze of life).
Meghan changed into a Givenchy dress for her second engagement.
After taking more than their allotted 30 minutes meeting crowds in Rotorua, shaking hands, waving and saying hello to well-wishers, the couple were whisked to the Redwoods Tree Walk – a 700m-long walkway of suspension bridges between 117-year-old Redwood trees.
Hand-in-hand in the forest they seemed lost in wonder as they explored the trees. The couple have spent much of their 16-day tour holding hands.
Meghan did a quick change into a more casual set of clothes, exploring the forest in flat shoes and a warm puffa jacket, keeping her small baby bump warm. As usual, Harry was protective, holding hands with his wife and keeping her safe on their tour or the forest high walk.
The couple met mountain bikers and bent down to shake hands with one of the local forest’s youngest bikers. Harry described the forest as “heaven” asking bikers, “do you know how lucky you are to have a place like this?”
The couple walked through the ancient Redwood trees via a series of suspended walkways.
Source: HELLO MAGAZINE