Meghan Markle Cradles Baby Bump as She Meets Members of the Public with Prince Harry in Auckland
The weather finally cleared up for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as they greeted fans in Auckland, New Zealand
After a busy day that included dedicating an area of native bush to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy, participating in “welly wanging” contest with local children and visiting a charity that supports children who have a parent in prison, the royal couple met members of the public.
As they interacted with fans, the royal parents-to-be received several gifts from the crowd including an All Blacks — the country’s football team — onesie, a tui bird soft toy and even a rain boot, or a Wellington as locals call the footwear, stuffed with roses.
Meghan, 37, stepped out in a beige Brandon Maxwell dress with matching Stuart Weitzman pumps and a beige Burberry Bishop trench coat.
The dress clung to her baby bump which she cradled as she walked along with Harry, 34, by her side. For their meet and greet, the prince wore a navy suit with a white button-down shirt underneath.
The duo made sure to talk to as many royal fans as possible — especially the younger members of the crowd.
Meghan invited a little girl through the crowd control fence and was rewarded with a sweet stuffed toy of a native tui bird.
Harry was particularly enamored with a little baby and reached out and gave the child what appeared to be a little tickle.
“Walkabouts,” as the royal meet and greets are commonly referred to, have provided some of Meghan and Harry’s most candid moments of the royal tour. Shortly after arriving to New Zealand, Meghan comforted a sobbing teenage fan by holding her hands.
One young royal fan who was wearing a shirt that read “Girls Can Do Anything” caught Harry’s eye in Sydney — so much that he just had to call his wife over to meet her.
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“We feel she looks a bit like you,” a person in the crowd is heard telling Meghan in a video posted by Harry Meghan Updates on Instagram.
The Duchess of Sussex replied, “I was literally about to say the same thing!”
Harry then took a fan’s phone to snap a photo of Meghan with her mini-me — a rare move for the prince, who usually adheres to the royal protocol of no autographs or selfies.
Earlier in the day, the royal couple bonded with local children from the environmental education group, “Trees of Survival,” and joined the kids for a “welly wanging” contest.
The objective of the game was to throw a Wellington boot — which New Zealanders refer to as “Wellies” — as far as possible. (Wellingtons are equivalent to what Americans call rainboots, Bean Boots, or duck boots.)
The children cheered as Meghan showed off her strength and won the competition, throwing her red-and-white polka-dotted boot approximately a meter away from Harry’s blue boot. For the win, the Duchess was rewarded with a rainboot-shaped trophy.
Adding to the couple’s growing list of baby gifts, Meghan and Harry were also given a small pair of green and white boots for their newest family member.
Later on in the day, the Royals joined New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in Auckland for a visit to Pillars, a charity that supports children who have a parent in prison by providing special mentoring programs.
Meghan and Harry already had a special connection to the charity: as a wedding present to the couple, the government of New Zealand gifted $5,000 to Pillars. During Tuesday’s visit, they met some of the children who directly benefited from the funding.
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The royal couple started their whirlwind 16-day tour Down Under in Sydney, with a number of day trips to other areas of the country, and kicked off the 2018 Invictus Games before spending a few days in Fiji and Tonga.
They returned to Sydney for the end of the Invictus Games before heading to New Zealand to wrap their tour.
Meghan and Harry will wrap up their busy day at a reception hosted by the Prime Minister at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.