The Weekly

The special significance of Duchess Meghan's first solo outing

The event held a special double meaning for the Duchess.

By Anita Lyons

It was a very important day for the Duchess of Sussex as she stepped out for the first time at her first solo engagement.

Sans husband Prince Harry, Meghan looked flawless as she attended the Royal Academy of Arts for the opening of the Oceania exhibition.

The event, which celebrated artworks from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the Kingdom of Tonga, was the perfect fit for the Duchess, as she and Harry will be visiting the region next month.

The Duchess of Sussex attended the opening of the Oceania Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts.
The Duchess of Sussex attended the opening of the Oceania Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts.

During her visit, she was privvy to a short performance by Ngāti Rānana, a Māori cultural group.

As part of the performance, she took part in a traditional Maori nose rub, known as the 'Hongi' - a tradition which involves touching noses and foreheads.

She also met with the exhibition's curators and artists, as well as the descendants linked to the works displayed.

Meghan took part in a traditional Maori nose rub, known as the 'Hongi'.
Meghan took part in a traditional Maori nose rub, known as the 'Hongi'.

Upon leaving the event, the Duchess of Sussex left with a beautiful bunch of native flowers which included eucalyptus and banksia.The milestone outing also had special significance for Meghan. It marked one year since Meghan and Harry became 'public official' at the Invictus Games in Toronto.

The milestone outing marked one year since her first public outing with Prince Harry.
The milestone outing marked one year since her first public outing with Prince Harry.
Meghan left with natives from Australia including banksia and eucalyptus gum.
Meghan left with natives from Australia including banksia and eucalyptus gum.

Back in June, an official announcement was released, revealing that "Their Royal Highnesses" would be touring the region.

"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will undertake an official visit to Australia, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga, and New Zealand in the Autumn," statement read.

It continued: "Their Royal Highnesses have been invited to visit the Realms of Australia and New Zealand by the countries' respective governments. The Duke and Duchess will visit the Commonwealth countries of Fiji and Tonga at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office."

"The tour will fall on the occasion of the Invictus Games Sydney 2018. Further details will be advised in due course."

This will mark Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's first official royal tour as husband and wife and has already garnered global interest.

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