RNZ with Pool Reports
Auckland, October 30, 2018
The murky Auckland weather did not deter hundreds of people from turning out at the Viaduct to catch a glimpse of the royal couple on their public walkabout this after afternoon.
A big cheer from the crowd went up as Prince Harry and Meghan’s motorcade arrived at North Wharf. The Duchess stepped out wearing a beige pencil dress with a light brown overcoat, paired with dainty high heels.
The couple shook hands with Auckland Mayor Phil Goff and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern upon their arrival.
Greet and Chat
The royals also greeted and chatted with people as they made their way down the wharf.
They received a number of gifts, including flowers, a small elephant toy, a jar of Marmite, a knitted teddy bear and baby’s hat, a kiwi soft toy, and an All Blacks baby onesie.
A young girl in the crowd was moved to tears as she handed the Duchess a bouquet of flowers.
One little anticipating fan was invited through the fence by the Prince and gifted the couple a tui soft toy. Meghan knelt to greet her and talk about the toy.
A big cheer from the crowd went up as Prince Harry and Meghan’s motorcade arrived at North Wharf. Another nearby fan had their Burger King crown blown away by the wind, but the Duke knelt down to grab it back.
Song and Cheer
He stopped to chat to a toddler holding a plush doll toy. He held the toy to his ear to hear what noises it could make.
An elderly woman sitting on a walker was delighted to receive a greeting from the Duke.
At one point, people in the crowd broke into song, singing the Maori version of the National Anthem. Others could be heard yelling “Hey Harry” and “Love you Meghan.”
The crowd has also chorused at the Duchess asking, “If Louis is really Litt” in homage to her earlier role on Suits.
The Duchess stopped to speak with a group of girls holding a sign saying: “We are skipping school for you.”
Scoring a royal selfie is pretty rare. But one royal fan was lucky enough to get one at the Viaduct.
Just before leaving the Viaduct, the Duchess stopped by a woman in the crowd she appeared to recognise.
Hannah Sergel told media that the Duchess used to follow her on Instagram and they had chatted before, but this was their first time meeting in person. She travelled from Christchurch for the event.
“She said thank you for getting in touch and then she gave me a hug and said she would read my letter that I gave her. I was friends with her on Instagram before she had to deactivate her account. We used to have conversations and stuff on there,” Ms Sergel said.
At the end of the walkabout, the couple walked back along the wharf towards their waiting car. As they walked hand in hand, they could be seen laughing with Ms Ardern.
Earlier this afternoon, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex paid a visit to a charity dedicated to supporting the children of prisoners through mentoring schemes and in-home support.
In May, the couple requested that in lieu of wedding gifts, donations be made to charity. The New Zealand Government gifted $5000 to ‘Pillars,’ due to the couple’s interest in programmes that support vulnerable children.
Pillars, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, is the only New Zealand charity dedicated to supporting children of prisoners.
More than 23,000 New Zealand children have a parent in prison.
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