Prince Harry faces a curly question when he and Duchess Meghan meet the Pasifika community in Auckland

Did someone say 'colonialism'?
Prince Harry Duchess Meghan Auckland War Memorial Museum Reception

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s last event in Auckland was a glitzy reception at the War Memorial Museum hosted by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

The event was in honour of Auckland’s Pasifika community, with the majority of invited guests young people aged between 17-25 who have made significant contributions to their communities.

Meghan looked stunning in navy blue dress by Antonio Berardi, which dedicated royal watchers will recognise as the same dress she wore for her first ever public outing with Prince Harry, at the Audi Polo Challenge back in May 2017.

Harry got into the spirit of evening, acknowledging the crowd in his speech with welcomes in Samoan, Tongan, Fijian, Niuean, Cook Islands and Maori, drawing applause from the room.

“This is definitely the first time I have spoken most of those languages, so I apologise if my accent wasn’t any good, but I had to give it a go!” he joked.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern welcomed Harry and Meghan to the event.

The Duke went on to acknowledge Auckland’s diverse population.

“We’ve heard Auckland described as a multicultural melting pot by the sea. It’s mix of people, cultures and languages is what gives this city its unique identity – its energy and vibrancy, its openness and welcoming spirit.

“Thank you again Prime Minister for hosting me and my wife on our first visit to New Zealand as a couple – it’s a place we’ve both visited separately and it has been a joy to return here together to enjoy this stunning country.”

Harry was referring to his 8 day royal tour of New Zealand in 2015, and Meghan’s campervan holiday around the South Island in 2014 before she and Harry met.

Harry’s language skills drew applause from the crowd.

Much of their focus on this tour has been on youth issues, something Harry touched upon in his speech.

“One of the most rewarding things about travelling though four Commonwealth countries these past few weeks, has been the opportunity to meet young leaders who are making a significant difference within their own communities.

“In my role as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, it is a privilege to champion so many exceptionally talented young leaders across all 53 countries; your voices are being heard, and each and every one of you is making this change happen.”

After the speeches the Duke and Duchess were treated to energetic performances by Auckland’s Pasifika community, which drew loud cheers and whoops from guests.

Following the performance, Harry and Meghan mingled with the crowd, where one of the guests, 21-year-old Auckland law clerk Joanna Ji, posed a curly question about colonialism and how the monarchy was balancing its history with its relationship with indigenous New Zealanders.

“Initially he seemed a bit evasive so I rephrased my question and I was satisfied with his answer,” she says. “He made an analogy of his father being a big advocate for climate change when it wasn’t conventional.

“He kept saying we need to keep being that voice and beating that drum. Meghan chimes in about being the voice of the generation. Jacinda is a queen and was nodding along to show it was an important question, like, go on, child, speak your mind!”

The Duke and Duchess will head to New Zealand’s Maori cultural capital, Rotorua, today for the final day of their New Zealand tour before flying home this evening.

To stay up to date on the royal tour, click here.

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