There's a Reason Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Are Throwing Boots Around in New Zealand!
Meghan Markle showed off her best boot-throwing skills and won the competition against Prince Harry
The royal couple, who are expecting their first child in the spring, bonded with local children from environmental education group, “Trees of Survival”, on Tuesday (local time) by joining them for a “welly wanging” contest — and their future child also got a keepsake from the activity.
Meghan and Harry arrived hand-in-hand, before lining up to the mark to begin the game, the objective of which is 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 local 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.
And to add to the couple’s growing list of baby gifts, Meghan and Harry were given a small pair of green and white boots for their newest family member.
Dressing for the wet weather, Meghan, 37, wore jeans with a black shirt, a dark navy Karen Walker blazer and a pair of black “Reign” waterproof boots by Muck Boot. She also kept her hair pulled back into a ponytail.
Meanwhile, Harry, 34, stayed dry in a white button-down shirt, gray pants, a brown trenchcoat, and his own pair of black Muck boots.
The couple, however, temporarily switched into matching black rain jackets during the boot-throwing competition.
Ahead of the game, Meghan and Harry were greeted with a powhiri, a traditional Maori welcoming ceremony, and then went on to dedicate a 50-acre area of native bush on the North Shore to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy.
During the ceremony, Harry lovingly held an umbrella over his wife’s head as they stood at the podium together.
The pair also helped plant various trees, including a puriri tree (native to the North Island) and a kōwhai tree, according to stuff.co.nz, before unveiling a plaque and learning about the ecological importance of the native bush.
At the end of their engagement, Meghan and Harry greeted and performed in the traditional practice of hongi with members of the QEII Trust. The royal couple also happily interacted with several of the schoolchildren before heading out to their next event.
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Harry and Meghan previously unveiled other new additions to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy on the royal tour: the Forests of K’gari on Australia’s Fraser Island, Colo-i-Suva Forest Park in Fiji and the Toloa Forest Reserve at Tonga’s Tupou College.
On Sunday (local time), Meghan and Harry touched down in Wellington and wasted no time immersing themselves in the New Zealand culture.
The royal parents-to-be attended a traditional welcome ceremony on the lawns of Government House, the residence of the Governor General of New Zealand, Dame Patsy Reddy.
While there, they were invited to perform the hongi, a traditional Māori greeting which includes two people pressing their nose and foreheads together, before the pōwhiri which includes a haka, performed by members of the New Zealand Defence Force.
The ceremony also included a 21-gun salute and was attended by schoolchildren.
Meghan also delivered a powerful speech on Sunday, which was a celebration of New Zealand’s 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage, and shared her passion for feminism.
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.
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The pair will next make a visit to the Pillars, where they will meet and mentor children who have a parent in prison.
They are later expected to greet fans in Auckland, before wrapping up their day at a reception hosted by the Prime Minister at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.