Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry were welcomed at Government House this afternoon with a very special Pōwhiri.
The Royal New Zealand Air Force band played the national anthem ahead of the royal pair's arrival, setting the tone for what was a very lively welcome!
When the couple did arrive – looking as dashing as ever, even after a gruelling, busy schedule this past week – they were invited to take part in a traditional hongi with Governor-General's Kuia and Kaumātua (Māori elders), which they did with great warmth and enthusiasm.
Harry has previously participated in a hongi on his 2015 solo royal tour of New Zealand and Meghan took part in a hongi at the opening of an Oceania exhibition last month.
The New Zealand Armed Forces then performed a breath-taking haka, which Harry and Meghan particularly seemed to enjoy.
The pair were then walked to their next haka (we're nothing if not thorough when welcoming guests!) by kaumātua Professor Piri Sciascia and kuia Te Ripowai Higgins.
The second haka was enthusiastically performed by boys from Hato Paora College, a Māori boys' school. The haka was followed by a very loud 21 gun salute. After that Prince Harry inspected the Guard of Honour and spoke to some soldiers.
The Duke and Duchess then chatted animatedly with children from Paparangi Scout Group, Maranatha Christian School, Kairanga School and Kelburn Guides. Of course, all the children seemed ecstatic to meet the royal pair, and who could blame them? Our office has been buzzing with excitement since Harry and Meghan first announced their royal tour (to see where else Their Royal Highnesses will travel in Aotearoa, check out their tour itinerary).
The welcoming ceremony ended when Harry and Meghan entered Government House. The next stop on their whirlwind tour? Pukeahu National War Memorial Park and a terribly exciting public walkabout in Wellington.
Cameras at the ready!
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