Prince Harry has given plenty of speeches on his Commonwealth tour over the past week, but it was his special mention of wife Meghan and their unborn baby that won hearts in Wellington on Monday.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped out for day two of their New Zealand tour, rugging up against the chilly weather in the country’s capital and taking in the city’s striking natural beauty throughout the day.
It was during a visit to the Totaranui Campground in the Abel Tasman National Park that Harry took a moment to thank residents for their kind hospitality and to acknowledge the couple’s “little bump”.
“The weather forecast was a lot worse than this and we are really fortunate to be here. The rain is a blessing and reminder of our connection to the land,” Nine News reports he said. “From my wife, myself and our little bump, it’s a blessing to be here.”
Today we welcomed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to Abel Tasman National Park. ???? Ranger Andrew spoke with them about local biodiversity projects restoring ecology to the park, New Zealand’s conservation work and our Predator Free 2050 goal.#RoyalVisitNZ | ????: Mark Tantrum pic.twitter.com/i5P14cXpTK
— Te Papa Atawhai (@docgovtnz) October 29, 2018
The duke expressed his thanks for being welcomed to the country during the visit to the beachside camp, and didn’t seem to mind the damp weather has he spoke to the crowd.
The happy couple, who are expected to welcome their bundle of joy in the UK’s spring, were given a special blessing from a local elder upon their arrival. According to Nine News, Barney Thomas spoke in Te Reo Maori, as he wished them well with their “pepi” (baby). The tribe member also explained why the duchess was sat a few inches behind her husband during a special ceremony.
In line with Maori tradition, Meghan was given the seat of honour, and placed slightly behind her husband in the front row with other men on either side as a sign of protection for women, especially those who are pregnant.
“The middle represents the god of war and we don’t want to put our women into that space,” Thomas said. “We want to be inclusive, but especially Meghan, because she’s expecting, we don’t want to put her at any risk.”
But while Harry may have wooed the world with his sweet tribute, it was Meghan who once again stole the show with her striking fashion choices.
While the newest royal had rugged up against the Wellington chill earlier in the day in a thick jacket and black boots, she stepped out of her casual daytime outfit and into a gorgeous white dress for a visit to Wellington’s Courtnay Creative in the afternoon.
Keeping inside away from the frigid New Zealand weather, Meghan looked beautiful in the simple white buttoned dress for an evening celebrating the city’s thriving arts scene.
Earlier in the day, Harry and Meghan visited a cafe in Wellington where they met with a number of young people working on mental health projects, before greeting local school children outside.
It was a special moment for the children who even received some delicious cake that Meghan thoughtfully gifted from the cafe.
“These gorgeous kids were waiting outside the Maranui cafe and Meghan sent an aide back into the cage to scoop up all the yummy cakes that she and Harry didn’t eat, to be given to the kids!” one person wrote on Twitter.
These gorgeous kids were waiting outside the Maranui cafe and Meghan sent an aide back into the cage to scoop up all the yummy cakes that she & Harry didn’t eat, to be given to the kids! All together now “Ahhhhhhh” ???? ???? pic.twitter.com/qEBIRWiCCi
— Emily Andrews (@byEmilyAndrews) October 28, 2018
This wasn’t the only generous gesture from the duke and duchess throughout the day as the royal couple were spotted breaking protocol yet again. Harry and Meghan threw the rules out the window as they posed for a selfie with two very excited young fans who had been waiting for hours to see the pair.
“What protocol! During the walkabout, Harry and Meghan stopped to take a photo with Wellington locals Sophie Hubbard and Hope Watson, both 10. Worth the nine-hour wait!” one person wrote on Twitter.
The young girls had reportedly been waiting patiently for the duke and duchess to pass and yelled out for a selfie with they got the chance. A smiling Harry and Meghan happily obliged and no doubt gave the young royalists a memory they won’t forget anytime soon.