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Duke and Duchess of Sussex wear Maori cloaks for welcoming ceremony on final day of tour

Credit: PA

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex wore Maori cloaks as they took part in a traditional welcoming ceremony on the final day of their overseas tour in New Zealand.

Prince Harry was handed a carved weapon as the couple visited the Tamatekapua Meeting House, where the duke spoke for around a minute in Maori.

The day also saw the couple go on their final walkabout of the tour, with hundreds of people turning out, and visiting the Redwoods Tree Walk.

Their last stop on the 16-day tour - which has seen them carry out 76 engagements in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga - was Rotorua on New Zealand’s North Island, a town known for its geothermal activity and Maori culture.

The day started with the pair being given Maori cloaks – or Korowai – during a visit to the village of Ohinemutu.

Meghan’s Korowai was custom created for her visit by Norma Sturley, 66, an elder of the Ngati Whakaue tribe.

She learnt to weave as a child – picking up the skill from her mother and grandmother – and has had her work included in national exhibitions.

Having worked on it for two months whenever she has had time, she was up all of Tuesday night to complete the last-minute touches.

The couple were given a traditional welcome in Rotorua. Credit: PA

The pair then headed into the Tamatekapua Meeting House after a traditional welcome known as the powhiri in the courtyard, where the duke was handed a carved weapon.

As the tewhatewha, a Maori weapon with a point at one end and an axe at the other, was passed over, Trevor Maxwell, of the local district council, said: “I am sure you are going to Twickenham when the All Blacks play England on November 11 – make sure you don’t take that.”

The ceremony was conducted in Maori – as Harry and Meghan were being treated like “one of their own” – with Monty Morrison, also from the council, only breaking into English once, when he looked at the duchess and said “little bump” to laughter.

The duke spoke for around a minute in Maori – with gasps of awe and smiles when he used the word “whaiaipo”, or sweetheart.

Meghan’s Korowai was custom created for her visit. Credit: PA

He said: “Thank you for the beautiful cloak you have so kindly gifted to myself and the duchess.

“We appreciate the skill of the weavers who made it, and the aroha (love) that has gone into its creation.

“This cloak is a taonga (treasure) that will be cherished in our family.”

The couple then headed to a kiwi breeding programme where they had the chance to name two chicks, opting for tihei, meaning sneeze of life, and koha, meaning gift.

From there, the couple took part in their last walkabout of the tour in Rotorua with hundreds of people heading out to see the couple.

The Duchess of Sussex hugged a young girl during a walkabout in Rotorua. Credit: PA

A two-year-old crept through the railings during the walkabout and was rewarded with a hug from the duchess.

Another child got through the railings and walked towards Prince Harry, who asked: "Whose child is this?"

They then headed to Redwoods Tree Walk for a walk through the forest.

As they left, one reporter shouted out: “Have you enjoyed your trip duchess, duke?”

The pair did not reply, waving to well-wishers before getting in their car.

Harry and Meghan will return to Auckland this evening, before departing for London tomorrow.

The Duke and Duchess emerged hand-in-hand from a forest of century-old redwoods. Credit: PA