Gumboots were the order of the day as Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, continued their NZ tour today with a wet and muddy visit to Redvale on Auckland's North Shore.
The couple were there to dedicate a 20-hectare area of native bush to the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy. Heavy showers prevailed so the royal couple arrived dressed appropriately in heavy duty gumboots. They also took part in a gumboot throwing competition and were gifted a tiny pair of gumboots for their baby.
The royal couple were greeted at the North Shore Riding Club in Redvale by local iwi, Queen Elizabeth II Trust members and Pinehill school children, and Duchess Meghan, in particular, looked concerned when the skies opened and rain started bucketing down on the children while they were singing a waita, and had no umbrellas.
The Duke and Duchess then donned gloves and planted native trees with the children. While Prince Harry planted a puriri tree, indigenous to the northern part of the North Island, the Duchess of Sussex planted a kōwhai tree. She could be heard telling the children "well done" for their efforts.
Yesterday a scheduled tree planting at the Totaranui Campground in the Abel Tasman National Park had had to be cancelled due to bad weather.
But it was the gumboot throwing competition that had everyone talking because the Duchess of Sussex won, despite having to ask the children how to throw her gumboot properly.
Ryen Anderson, 10, was on Meghan's team and said afterwards that the Duchess told him Prince Harry reckoned he would win next time they competed.
Pinehill School pupil Isabella Iti confirmed the couple "looked like they were really trying to throw the gum boot as far as they could".
"I think she was thinking that there was no chance that she would win. But she did," Isabella said.
For her efforts the Duchess was awarded a gumboot-shaped trophy.
Meeting the Duchess was "awesome" and "amazing," Isabella said.
Alex Chatterton, 11, described the couple as "nice, caring" and said they let him do what he wanted.
The visit ended with Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan performing hongi with members of the Queen Elizabeth II Trust.
Prince Harry said he and his wife were delighted to be there "and the rain is a blessing".
New Zealand was one of the first countries to join the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy, which was set up in 2015, and Prince Harry commended New Zealand's participation.
"As I learnt in the car there are no incentives [for joining the QCC]."
Farmers are getting on board simply because they want to preserve the natural environment, he observed.
- RoyalsPrincess Diana’s niece Lady Kitty Spencer is converting to Judaism for her fiancé
Now To LoveToday 10:40am
- CareerSt Matthew-in-the-City's first female vicar Reverend Dr Helen Jacobi lets us into her world
New Zealand Woman's WeeklyToday 8:00am
- RoyalsWhy this adorable photo of Princess Charlotte means so much to Duchess Catherine
Now To LoveYesterday 12:20pm
- FamilySonny Bill Williams pays tribute to wife Alana for holding their family together as he leaves for England
Now To LoveYesterday 11:57am
- RoyalsDuchess Catherine gets candid about motherhood: from hypnobirthing to ‘mum guilt’
Now To LoveYesterday 10:30am
- TVThe Bachelorette NZ intruder Mike Bullot is Chelsea Winter's former husband
Now To LoveYesterday 9:48am
- TVThe Bachelorette intruders: Meet the men hoping to steal the show
Now To LoveFeb 16, 2020
- Pregnancy & Birth‘I gave birth to our miracle baby the night before my wedding’
Woman's DayFeb 15, 2020