Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Depart Sydney for New Zealand for the Last Leg of the Royal Tour
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry bid farewell to Australia to head to the final stop of their royal tour: New Zealand
After a busy closing ceremony at the Invictus Games in Sydney, the royal parents-to-be bid farewell to Australia from Sydney Airport on Sunday (local time) to head to the final stop of their royal tour: New Zealand.
The pair were accompanied by Invictus Games athletes from New Zealand for the three-hour plane ride to Wellington. Before boarding their plane, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said farewell to Australian dignitaries.
The mother-to-be, 37, wore a burgundy Hugo Boss dress while her husband, 34, wore a black suit. The duo waved goodbye to locals as they prepared for the final stretch of their tour.
When the duo touches down, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will greet the couple.
Upon arriving in New Zealand, the couple will receive a Ceremony of Welcome and lay a wreath at the Pukeahu National War Memorial before meeting with Ardern.
Harry and Meghan gave emotional speeches during the Invictus Games closing ceremony, in which Harry spoke candidly about his experience with mental health in front of thousands that were gathered. (Harry, a veteran who served in Afghanistan, founded the Paralympics-style competition four years ago to honor veterans and wounded service members around the world.)
“In a world where negativity is given too much of a platform, our Invictus competitors — many of whom have been given a second chance at life — are achieving extraordinary things,” he said.
“They get called heroes. They’re tagged as legends. They’re referred to as super-humans. Now, of course, all those things are true! Right? Well, I believe, that the real power of their example is that they are not superheroes. Sorry to break it to you guys!” he joked.
“What they are achieving isn’t impossible nor is it magical,” Harry continued. “You have seen it happen before your very eyes because these competitors have made it happen. They are men and women who have confronted a challenge and overcome it. They are ordinary people doing extraordinary things… That is something we can all aspire to.”
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Meghan shared a similar message with attendees in her surprise speech, in addition to expressing her awe about her husband’s efforts to create an inspiring event.
She also recounted how moved she was by one veteran who excitedly gave Harry and her a hug last week.
“The Novak family from Chicago is a prime example of this very thing,” Meghan said. “When their son Ryan suffered a severe injury leaving him paralyzed from the waist down, doctors said he would never be able to walk again. But after speaking to his mom, Karri, it was clear that it was through Ryan’s strength of spirit, and with the unwavering support of his parents, that he was able to prove all of those doctors wrong.”
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Meghan continued: “Not only has Ryan competed in sailing, swimming and athletics this week, but when Harry and I saw him at the finish line of the sailing competition, he literally jumped into our boat — with dexterity and ease, by the way — to give both of us a hug.”
This is the couple’s first joint visit to New Zealand while Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, has made 10 visits to the country — the first of which came during her Commonwealth Tour in 1953 to 1954.
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.