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Performing the Haka and getting Hongi: Prince Harry’s special relationship with New Zealand

It could be because they share the same sense of humour and affable good nature but whatever the reason, Prince Harry and the Kiwis have long shared a special relationship.

The Prince’s popularity in New Zealand exploded after he visited in 2015, learning the Haka in 20 minutes and reciting a speech in Maori. 

And during last year’s Invictus games he was given a gift by the New Zealand team after striking up a friendship with many of the competitors.

This visit however will be all the more special because he will be accompanied by his new wife Meghan Markle, who toured New Zealand in a campervan in 2014.

‘He loves the Kiwis’: Prince Harry has long had a special relationship with New Zealand and royals insiders say that he is excited to visit again, this time with his new wife Meghan

Prince Harry is expected to receive a warm welcome to New Zealand on Sunday after a very successful Royal Tour in 2015

Prince Harry was warmly welcomed to New Zealand in 2015

Prince Harry (pictured on Saturday, left) is expected to receive a warm welcome to New Zealand on Sunday after a very successful Royal Tour in 2015 (right)

Prince Harry's wife, Meghan Markle, is also a huge fan of New Zealand, having driven a camper van around the country in 2014 (pictured)

Prince Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle, is also a huge fan of New Zealand, having driven a camper van around the country in 2014 (pictured)

This visit is guaranteed to be far grander affair for the Duchess, who has already impressed on her first official royal tour in Australia. 

The couple arrived at Sydney Airport with Invictus Games competitors from New Zealand about 9.45am before the group set off for the last leg of their tour.

When they land at Wellington about 3pm local time, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be greeted with a Haka and a 21-gun salute.  

It’s a scene that will feel very familiar to the Duke of Sussex, who performed the Haka himself in 2015. 

Wearing his military uniform, he joined other service members in performing the NZ army’s Haka – which he’d only been given 20 minutes to learn.

Prince Harry, who served in the British military, joined fellow soldiers during his 2015 trip to the country, and learned the army's Haka

Prince Harry, who served in the British military, joined fellow soldiers during his 2015 trip to the country, and learned the army’s Haka

While Ms Markle had a relaxed, affordable holiday during her first visit, she will now embark on a hectic, but luxurious tour of the nation as a member of the royal family

While Ms Markle had a relaxed, affordable holiday during her first visit, she will now embark on a hectic, but luxurious tour of the nation as a member of the royal family

On the same tour, he showed his admiration for the culture by giving a speech in Maori. 

‘Distinguished people gathered here, I, the grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of New Zealand, greet you,’ he told an impressed crowd.

‘To you the people of Ruapehu Mountain, Whanganui River, Whanganui people. Te pahu o te Ancestral House.

‘Special greetings to you all.’

The Prince has been credited multiple times for his enthusiasm and respect for Maori culture.  

And during his time with Invictus Games competitors, Prince Harry appears to have developed a special connection with the NZ team. 

Prince Harry will visit New Zealand again on Sunday, this time with his wife Meghan

Prince Harry  will visit New Zealand again on Sunday, this time with his wife Meghan

Speaking with MSN, the team’s volunteer manager Dave Pilgrim, best known as Pirate, said his group were able to speak with the popular royal the same way they would anyone else.

‘A lot of Kiwis have called him “cuz” which he just laughs at, but he loves the Kiwis,’ he said.  

‘We have a really good sense of humour and we treat him just like another human being, as we would anyone else.’ 

On Sunday afternoon, Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle will attend a wreath laying at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and visit the UK War Memorial before meeting members of the public.

The Governor General of New Zealand has set up a Facebook event for the public meet and greet, and more than 3,000 people have declared their interest in saying ‘kia ora’ to the newlyweds.

THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF SUSSEX IN NEW ZEALAND 

October 28, Wellington

Harry and Meghan will land in Wellington about 3pm local time, and will be headed to Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and visit the UK War Memorial before meeting members of the public.

Afterwards, the couple are headed to an official dinner.

October 29, Wellington/ Abel Tasman National Park

The royals will start their day with breakfast at Lyall Bay’s Marenui Cafe, before heading to Abel Tasman National Park.

There, the pair will go for a bush walk and have a barbeque on the beach.

During their time in Wellington, Harry and Meghan will also visit Courtenay Creative – an exhibition, rehearsal, testing and event space in the centre of Wellington city.

October 30, Auckland

The royal couple will have a packed schedule on Tuesday. They will join in on a gumboot throwing contest, visit the Auckland Museum and meet with representatives from the Pillars charity – an organisation that helps the children of prisoners.

When Harry and Meghan wed, the New Zealand government donated $5,000 to Pillars in lieu of a gift.

In the late afternoon, the couple will walk around the Viaduct Harbour for a public meet and greet.

October 31, Rotorua

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will spend their final day in New Zealand surrounded by its stunning natural beauty.

The couple will visit the Redwoods Treewalk, Rainbow Springs, Te Papaiouru Marae and Government Gardens.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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