The Duke and Duchess of Sussex barely had time to dry themselves off from their rain soaked trip to Abel Tasman National Park before they were due at their next engagement - a visit to Wellington's Courtney Creative, where they were introduced to some very interesting (and somewhat scary) characters.
Courtney Creative runs programmes for young creative minds to learn film industry skills, and they'd rustled up a selection of their finest talent to mingle with their royal guests. Walking through the door Harry and Meghan were greeted by costumed Vikings and knights, and an orc from Lord of the Rings.
The orc was played by Luke Hawker, 37, a film technician and stuntman from Weta Workshop, who says, "I wasn't sure if I was supposed to shake their hands. They seemed genuinely scared, but I was very nice." For the record, they did shake hands.
The royals were particularly impressed by Evans Bay Intermediate student Ruby Acevedo, 12, who had been transformed into a chimp from Planet of the Apes by her father Gino, a creative art director at Weta Digital. Harry came close to her face and asked if he could touch it, which he did.
"It was a very nice experience to meet and talk to them," Ruby says. "They were everything I expected. Really kind."
Meghan wore a stunning tuxedo dress by Kiwi designer Maggie Marilyn, teamed with a Gillian Anderson coat.
Carleen Murphy, who was dressed up as a red devil for the occasion, says she was waiting for Meghan to mention her past as an actress, but the Duchess was keen to keep the focus on everyone else.
"She was so gracious and let others shine," she said. "She's even more beautiful than she is on screen. More lovely. An absolute beauty."
Lord of the Rings actor Jed Brophy stood beside them dressed as a devil. He told Harry this was the shortest make-up session he'd ever needed and Harry told him he should head out on the town later, which he said he would.
"They're wonderful people, very warm and genuinely interested," Jed commented.
Newtown singer Louis Baker, 29, performed his track "Just a Memory" for the royals, who applauded enthusiastically.
"It was such an honour to have an opportunity to play for royalty in my lifetime," Louis said. "I was nervous — I'm only human! We briefly talked about my music and the album I'll put out next year. Meghan said I had a great tone to my voice."
After Harry took a turn on a virtual reality game, which gave him a fright, the royals were presented with a gold, paua and diamond necklace from The Village Goldsmith by orc Luke, who apologised for scaring them earlier.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are now in Auckland for the next stop on their whirlwind tour of New Zealand. This morning they will dedicate a 20-hectare area of native bush on Auckland's North Shore to the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy before they head to South Auckland to pay a visit to Pillars, a charity which supports children who have had a parent in prison.
Later this afternoon they will attend a public walkabout at the Viaduct harbour before being the guests of honour at a reception hosted by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at Auckland's War Memorial Museum.
- RoyalsDuchess Catherine reveals Prince Louis has started talking
Now To LoveToday 9:20am
- BodyHer sister's keeper: Brave battler Eva Mitchell's unbreakable sibling bond
Woman's DayYesterday 4:40pm
- MakeupHow to find a foundation that matches your skin perfectly
Now To LoveYesterday 3:10pm
- RoyalsPrincess Diana's Travolta dress is up for auction so we're celebrating her best dresses from the 80s
Now To LoveYesterday 3:00pm
- BodyConcerning survey findings: One in three Kiwi women still don't self-check for breast cancer
Now To LoveYesterday 1:00pm
- RoyalsDuchess Catherine shares her family’s secret for picking the best Christmas tree
Now To LoveYesterday 11:55am
- RoyalsDid The Queen tell off Princess Anne for not greeting the Trumps? The truth behind the video revealed
Now To LoveYesterday 9:35am
- CareerChristmas horoscopes: What's in store for you this festive season
The Australian Women's WeeklyYesterday 8:15am
- CareerTina Turner reflects on her roller coaster life and the peace that has come with retirement
New Zealand Woman's WeeklyYesterday 8:00am
- CareerSocial media parody queen Celeste Barber on unexpected fame and where she draws the line
The Australian Women's WeeklyYesterday 8:00am
- CompetitionsWin a wireless headphone prizepack thanks to JBL and The Australian Women's Weekly
The Australian Women's WeeklyYesterday 7:00am
- Diet & NutritionHere are five health foods we’re set to be eating more of in 2020
Now To LoveDec 04, 2019
- Career'I wasn't expecting that': New podcast explores tricky issues for women in 40s and 50s
Now To LoveDec 04, 2019
- FamilyNZ's smallest couple: Meet our Christmas miracle baby
Woman's DayDec 04, 2019