On their final day of appearances in New Zealand before heading back to London, the royal parents-to-be visited Te Papaiouru Marae for a formal pōwhiri and luncheon in their honor. A pōwhiri is a traditional Māori welcoming ceremony involving speeches, dancing, singing and the hongi.
Meghan wore a long-sleeve navy dress by Stella McCartney (her wedding reception dress designer!) for the occasion. She accessorized her look with a traditional New Zealand jade necklace given to her by the Governor General of New Zealand, Dame Patsy Reddy, and she wore her hair in a polished updo.
Upon their arrival in New Zealand on Saturday, they were given ornate traditional robes as they attended a traditional welcome ceremony on the grounds of Government House, the residence of the Governor General of New Zealand.
Meghan’s traditional Māori cloak was adorned with feathers and held representations for her pregnancy, including “strength, warmth and ahora (love).”
Prince Harry took part in the ceremony, picking up a dagger while keeping his eyes on a Maori warrior who was challenging him.
Meghan, 37, and Harry, 34, were invited to perform the hongi, a traditional Māori greeting which includes two people pressing their nose and foreheads together.
Meghan was able to practice her hongi before traveling to New Zealand last month when she attended the opening of a Pacific art exhibit.
Artist Sarah Hudson said, “We thought it might be a nice bit of practice before she comes to the Pacific next month and it’s nice to be able to practice something that’s customary for us. She’s honoring our heritage.”
It was not, however, Meghan’s first hongi. That came in April this year when she and Harry attended a dawn service on Anzac Day in London.
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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.