The Duke and Duchess of Sussex wrapped up their 16-day royal tour of Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, and Fiji Wednesday, by admiring century-old redwoods and naming two newborn kiwi chicks.
For their final stop, the royal couple visited Rotorua’s Te Papaiouru marae – a sacred meeting house in Polynesian societies – where they participated in a traditional Māori welcoming ceremony called a pōwhiri. Harry’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth had visited the same site on a tour in 1953.
Prince Harry and Meghan were gifted traditional Maori cloaks, called Korowai, by the Te Arawa people. The Duchess of Sussex’ cloak, which was draped over a blue Stella McCartney dress, was designed specifically for her and incorporated elements from her life, including her royal status, her pregnancy, and her roots in the Californian sunshine.
“We see the Duchess as representing strong kaupapa (values) for women – she displays aroha (love), manaakitanga (nurturing and hospitality), mana (influence) and she is a great leader,” said Ngāti Whakaue elder Norma Sturley, who designed the cloak, according to CNN affiliate TVNZ.
Inside the meeting house, Prince Harry began a speech in Te Reo, the Māori language, to applause from the crowd.
“Excuse me if I jump to English,” he said before praising young New Zealanders who are “using their talents to preserve and promote the Maori language.” He ended his address by leading the crowd in a traditional Māori song.
In the afternoon, the royal couple visited a hatchery for New Zealand’s national bird, the kiwi, at Rotorua’s Rainbow Springs Nature Park. They got to name two of the center’s three-day old chicks, giving them the indigenous names, “Koha” meaning gift, and Tihei, from the Māori saying ‘tihei mauriora,’ meaning ‘the sneeze of life.’
To top off their final day in New Zealand, Harry and Meghan took a stroll through a 117-year-old redwood forest, climbing a 700 meter (2296 foot) long rope walkway suspended though the redwood treetops.
Earlier in the day, the couple went on their last walkabout and greeted thousands of fans lined up along the streets of Rotorua. During the meet and greet, the Duchess of Sussex pulled a small girl from the crowd and gave her a hug. Meanwhile, Harry spotted a toddler wandering in front of the barriers and returned him to his parents.
The day before, Prince Harry drew cheers from Aukland’s Pasifika community as he greeted them in six Pacific languages. Speaking at the Auckland War Memorial Museum for a reception hosted by New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Prince Harry opened his speech by saying greetings in Samoan, Tongan, Fijian, Niuean, Cook Islands Maori and Maori.
“That’s the first time I have used those languages,” he said.
That same day, Meghan and Harry were greeting the public in at the Viaduct Harbour in Auckland when Meghan recognized a fan in the crowd. Hannah Sergel told local media that she used to speak with the Duchess on Instagram before she became a member of the royal family and deleted her personal social media accounts.
Meghan spotted Sergel, who was holding a sign that read, “It’s Hannah from Instagram,” and gave her a hug.
“She would tell me to do well at university and encourage me to be myself,” Sergel said.
Harry and Meghan will fly back to the United Kingdom Thursday, after an eventful tour that began with the Duchess announcing she was pregnant with the couple’s first child.