Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s royal tour of New Zealand: everything you need to know

All of the best moments from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's (and baby Sussex's) first tour of New Zealand.
Duchess Meghan Prince Harry Hongi New Zealand

New Zealand was thrilled at the prospect of welcoming the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on their first overseas tour as a married couple. Not since Prince William and Duchess Catherine toured the country with baby George in 2014 has royal fever been so high in this country.

Adding to the excitement of Meghan and Harry’s tour, of course, was the the announcement two weeks before their arrival that the newlyweds were expecting their first child.

The New Zealand visit marks the end of their South Pacific tour, taking in Australia for the opening of the Invictus Games, as well as brief visits to Fiji and Tonga.

Both Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been to New Zealand before. Harry, on an eight day official tour in 2015, and Meghan on a campervan road trip around the South Island in 2014.

Their first trip to Aotearoa together boasts a jam-packed schedule, with their whirlwind four day visit taking in Wellington, Abel Tasman National Park, Auckland and Rotorua. Here’s everything you need to know.

Day one: arrival in Wellington

Windy Wellington lived up to its name when the Duke and Duchess arrived on a RNZAF plane bound from Sydney.

Meghan wore a $1000 trench coat from Kiwi designer Karen Walker, which she struggled to control in the breeze. The royal pair were greeted on the tarmac by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Wellington Mayor Justin Lester.

For the full story on Meghan and Harry’s arrival, click here.

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The official welcome at Government House

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were welcomed with a Powhiri at Government House.

They were treated to a rousing haka by the New Zealand armed forces, but it was almost upstaged by students from Hato Paora College who performed a haka of their own.

For the full story on their welcome at Government House, click here.

Public walkabout and wreath laying at Wellington’s Pukeahu National War Memorial

Fans couldn’t get enough of the royal pair during their first public walkabout in New Zealand. They were so popular that the walkabout ran overtime.

They received some very Kiwi-centric gifts – including pineapple lumps and a buzzy bee toy.

For the full story on their visit to the War Memorial, click here.

Reception celebrating 125 years of women’s suffrage in New Zealand

The final event on their first day was a reception at Government House celebrating the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand.

Duchess Meghan gave an empowering speech, praising New Zealand for leading the way in granting women the right to vote. “Women’s suffrage is about feminism,” she said, “but feminism is about fairness.”

She also won the crowd over by speaking a little Te Reo Māori.

For all of the details of Meghan’s speech, click here.

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Day Two: Meeting with young people working in mental health sector

Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan walk hand-in-hand along Lyall Bay to Maranui Cafe.

The royal couple kicked off day two with a meeting at Wellington’s [Maranui Cafe with young people working in the area of mental health in New Zealand.

Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan showed a keen interest in the projects and initiatives they were told about and spoke at length with Ezekiel Raui from Key to Life, a mental health support network.

“It’s a real topic that needs to be discussed,” Prince Harry said.

“There’s no silver bullet and I think people need to understand that,” Prince Harry continued. “I take my hat off to you guys.”

This was Ezekiel’s second meeting with the royal couple. He also met them earlier this year, alongside inspirational young leader Alexia Hilbertidou at Buckingham Palace when he was awarded a Queen’s Young Leaders Award.

For the full details of their visit to Maranui Cafe, click here.

Prince Harry, Duchess Meghan and “little bump” visit Abel Tasman National Park

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 helicopter to Totaranui, where they would learn all about the Department of Conservation’s initiatives to protect New Zealand’s unique flora and fauna.

But it wasn’t the conservation initiatives that had people talking, it was Prince Harry adorably talking about his and Duchess Meghan’s “little bump”.

Read more about it here.

Harry and Meghan get up close and personal with an orc at Courtney Creative

The Duke and Duchess were treated to a rather colourful array of characters when they paid a visit to Courtney Creative, an event organised to celebrate Wellington’s thriving arts scene.

Harry and Meghan were understandably a little reserved when they were approached by a frightening looking orc from Lord of the Rings. “I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to shake their hands,” the orc, 37-year-old Luke Hawker, a film technician and stuntman from Weta Workshop, said. “They seemed genuinely scared, but I was very nice.”

Hawker later presented the royal pair with a gold, paua and diamond necklace – and took the opportunity to apologise for scaring them earlier.

For all of the details on Meghan and Harry’s encounter with the orc, click here.

Day three in Auckland: Meghan beats Harry in a gumboot throwing competition

You can’t get much more Kiwi than a gumboot throwing competition, and Duchess Meghan proved her prowess by beating her husband in the competition. She was awarded a gumboot-shaped trophy for her efforts.

It wasn’t all fun and games though – the royal pair were there at Auckland’s Redvale for a very important reason – dedicating a 20-hectare area of native bush to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy.

For the full story on their visit to Redvale, and to find out about the sweet gift they presented with for their baby, click here.

Prince Harry adorably comforts a starstruck girl during a visit to Pillars charity

Harry and Meghan headed to South Auckland next to visit the charity Pillars, which supports children who have a parent – or parents – in prison.

The reason for their visit was all to do with their wedding. Instead of receiving gifts, the couple asked people to donate to charity. New Zealand donated $5000 to Pillars, so the Duke and Duchess took the opportunity to see for themselves all of the hard work the charity was doing.

When meeting royalty all got too much for one tiny member of the crowd, Prince Harry did his best to comfort her.

For the full story of their visit to Pillars, click here.

Duchess Meghan gets a blast from the past during a walkabout with Prince Harry at Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour

After a rain soaked morning, the weather gods obliged and provided some respite for Meghan and Harry’s public walkabout at Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour.

They were inundated with an array of gifts, including an All Blacks onesie and even a jar of marmite.

Meghan was surprised to recognise someone in the crowd and made a beeline to go over and talk to her. The woman, Hannah Sergel, had travelled from Christchurch for the event. The Duchess used to follow Sergel on Instagram before she deactivated her account, and while they hadn’t met in person before, they had exchanged messages.

For the full story on the Duke and Duchess’ public walkabout at the Viaduct, click here.

Prince Harry’s touching words of encouragement to an Auckland boy who lost his mum

Prince Harry stopped to talk 6-year-old Otia Nante during the public walkabout at the Viaduct when he found out Otia had lost his mother when he was nearly one. What followed next was perhaps one of the most touching moments from the whole royal tour.

“I can say don’t you worry about having just one parent,” Prince Harry reassured the boy.

“Life will always be alright, you know that? Yeah? I made it to 34 years old and life is great. I have a beautiful wife and a baby on the way. Your life is going to be sorted, don’t you worry about that.”

For the full story on Harry’s sweet words of encouragement, click here.

Prince Harry faces a curly question when they meet the Pasifika community in Auckland

The Duke and Duchess were treated to a rousing cultural performance from Auckland’s Pasifika community when they attended a glitzy reception at the War Memorial Museum hosted by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Harry impressed the crowd with his use of Pacific greetings in his speech. But it was a curly question about colonialism posed by one strong-willed attendee which stopped Harry in his tracks.

For the full details on the night, click here.

Prince Harry impresses Rotorua with his command of Te Reo Māori

Local Māori leaders and kaumātua welcomed Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan on to Te Papaiouru Marae with a moving pōwhiri on the final day of the royals’ visit in New Zealand.

Hundreds of invited guests, including excited school children and kapa haka performers, converged on to the marae to welcome the Duke and Duchess.

Prince Harry was widely praised after the event, not only for not breaking eye contact with warrior Raimona Inia as he accepted the wero during the pōwhiri, but also for his demonstrable attempts at speaking Te Reo Māori.

To read more about it, click here.

Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan narrowly miss out seeing a kiwi chick hatch in Rotorua

Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan visited the National Kiwi Hatchery at Rainbow Springs for their second engagement on their final day in NZ.

Their visit to the hatchery was to learn more about the centre’s kiwi breeding programme and not only did they get the chance to get up close and personal with our national icon, they were given the honour of naming two three day old kiwi chicks.

Find out the beautiful names they gave the chicks here.

Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan charmed Rotorua crowds on their last walkabout

The Duke and Duchess concluded their New Zealand tour on Wednesday with a public walkabout in Roturua.

The public turned out in droves for one final chance to see the popular royal couple.

During the event, a toddler broke through the barricades and made a beeline for Prince Harry, and Meghan broke royal protocol by taking a selfie with a pregnant fan.

Click here to read more about the couple’s eventful final walkabout.

Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan wrap up their royal tour of NZ

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at Redwoods Treewalk in Rotorua for the final stop on their four day tour of the country, where they were greeted by a crowd of dog walkers and Halloween-costumed children.

The royals then chatted to a group of mountain bikers who gave Duchess Meghan a very sweet gift.

And with that, their tour came to an end. Thanks for the memories Harry and Meghan!

To find out what Harry and Meghan said to the group of mountain bikers, click here.

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