British Royal Family

Rubbing noses with Prince Harry

Prince Harry begins his tour of New Zealand in fine form.

By Juliet Rieden
Prince Harry touched down at 2.30pm in New Zealand today wearing a dapper navy suit and waving as he walked down onto the tarmac at Wellington airport.It's his first visit to New Zealand and the cheeky royal was in fine form.
At Government House he was greeted by hundreds of screaming fans including school children from St Mark's Church School, Kilbirnie School, Hataitai School and scouts and Cubs from Karori West Scout group.
The fifth in line to the throne has arrived in the thick of a national debate about whether to drop colonial British connections by changing the country's flag. The flag referendum bill, being driven by Prime Minister John Key, is at select committee stage and has Parliament divided. But there was no lack of monarchist support on display today.
As part of a traditional Maori welcome The Prince rubbed noses with officials in his first "hongi" experience. He also watched a Haka display and inspected the guard.
As ever it was the children who captivated the Prince. He talked with them about everything from rugby to what they like about school and suggested if they ever want cake or cookies to give the Governor General a call.
"Just ring on the gate, they'll help you out".
Harry was shocked to hear the kids played sports other than rugby."I thought you would be forced to play rugby. That's why you have such a good rugby team isn't it?"
He discussed who was going to win the Rugby World Cup and talked football with some children. "Most of the royal family are Arsenal fans," he said.
The Prince is heading to the Hurricanes v Sharks rugby game tonight and asked whether anyone else was going. A few children piped up to say they were and the Prince responded, "great, I might see you there".
One young girl gave Harry a card for Princess Charlotte which he popped in his suit pocket and promised to pass on to the newest member of the royal family.
Later Prince Harry paid tribute to fallen New Zealand soldiers at the National War Memorial in Wellington and laid a wreath at the foot of a statue of a mother and two children, which symbolised that those impacted by the horror of war were not just the men who went off to fight.
Chants of "Harry, Harry, Harry" rang out across the park as the Prince went on a walkabout to meet his fans and the popular Prince even joined in singing 'Happy Birthday' to one girl wearing a party hat. Harry fever has only just started in New Zealand and with a week of events to go the atmosphere here is electric.

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