After a busy morning in Wellington meeting with youth from a number of mental health charities, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex crossed Cook Strait to visit the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park.
Their Royal Highnesses traveled by a Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopter to Totaranui, where they would learn all about the Department of Conservation's initiatives to protect New Zealand's unique flora and fauna.
On arrival, Their Royal Highnesses were welcomed to a beachside campsite with a pōwhiri from a local tribe; which included a karanga, the blowing of a conch shell, and of course, invitations to take part in a hongi (Harry and Meghan must be very used to these by now!)
Despite the rain, the royals were in good spirits as they took in the scenery. Meghan had changed from her morning engagement outfit (a Club Monaco 'Ellayne' Trench Coat with Jac + Jack black turtleneck sweater and a Stuart Weitzman Veruka lace-up suede boots) into a more practical black Seasalt jacket, black Outland jeans and comfy sneakers, which was a wise decision considering the temperamental weather!
Luckily, event organisers had prepared for the rain. A marquee was set up on the grass with a line of chairs, Meghan's slightly behind Harry's. The reasoning? Barney, of Onetahua Marae in Nelson, explained, "The middle represents the god of war and we don't want to put our women into that space. We want to be inclusive but especially Meghan, because she's expecting, we don't want to put her at any risk."
After a waiata, Harry said a few words to the group, "Thank you so much for having us today. The weather forecast was a lot worse than this and we are really fortunate to be here. The rain is a blessing and a reminder of our connection to the land ... From my wife, myself and our little bump, it's a blessing to be here ... We bring you greetings from my grandmother."
The couple then joined Department of Conservation ranger, Andrew Lamason, for a walk on the beach. The royal couple looked very loved up as they shared an umbrella and walked arm in arm. During their time with Lamason, Their Royal Highnesses spotted a weka and discussed important conservation issues.
Unfortunately, the weather was bad enough that a planned tree planting session was cancelled, and instead the royals met with school children and youth volunteers for tea and brownies (which I don't think Harry and Meghan would be too disappointed about!)
After meeting Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan, local school children had nothing but nice things to say about the royal couple.
Pippa Struck, 13, of Golden Bay High School, said: "They were just so calm. You see them on TV, but when you meet them, you realise they're just normal people."
Meanwhile Milan Chapman, 15, of Motueka High School, said: "They were very nice, chatty and relaxed."
Abel Tasman Youth Ambassador, Saskia Gray, 16, also had lovely things to say about the pair: "It was a great opportunity. I'm very fortunate to have this chance. They acted very down-to-earth, and they genuinely care about the people and the land."
After spending time in Abel Tasman National Park, Harry and Meghan have head back to Wellington for an evening function (see, we told you they were busy bees.)
Tonight the Duke and Duchess will visit Courtney Creative for an event celebrating Wellington's creative arts scene - which will be right up Meghan's alley!
To shop Meghan's royal tour wardrobe, click here.
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