WELLINGTON: Britain’s Prince Harry and wife Meghan were treated to a ceremonial welcome in New Zealand on Sunday where they arrived for the final leg of their Pacific tour, their first international royal tour since marrying in May.
The royal couple, who have already visited Australia, Fiji and Tonga, were received at Wellington airport by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
The official welcome ceremony took place on the lawns of Government House – the residence of the Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy.
Harry and Meghan rubbed noses with Maori leaders in a traditional “hongi” greeting and were welcomed by a “haka”, a centuries-old tribal war dance, to salute and honor them. A 21-gun salute was also sounded.
Meghan wore a brown chequered coat and a simple black dress, while Harry was in a dark gray suit. Both had remembrance poppy pins on their chests.
Later, Harry and Meghan visited Pukeahu National War Memorial Park to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and visited the UK Memorial.
A large crowd gathered to catch a glimpse Queen Elizabeth’s grandson and his wife and the couple spent time meeting and shaking hands with cheering fans before leaving.
The pair flew from Australia on Sunday after closing the Invictus Games in Sydney last night and were accompanied by several Invictus Games athletes from New Zealand.
The Invictus Games are an international paralympic-style competition for military personnel wounded in action that was founded by Harry.
On Sunday evening, the couple will attend a reception celebrating the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage. New Zealand became the first country in the world where women could vote in parliamentary elections in 1893.