There are two things that come to mind immediately when you think New Zealand: kiwis (birds, people and the fruit) and epic Lord of the Rings scenery. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex might not be making time for the LOTR tour while on the New Zealand leg of their Royal Tour of Oceania, but they came about as close as possible with a helicopter ride over beautiful Abel Tasman National Park and a meeting with some characters from the films.
No, this unfortunately wasn’t an Orlando Bloom/Viggo Mortensen photo-op (we wish!); Meghan and Harry were greeted at Courtenay Creative in Wellington Monday evening by a troop of the films’ monster Urakhai Orc soldiers. Yikes!
🎭🎬🎤 Celebrating New Zealand’s vibrant creative industries — this evening The Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited Courtenay Creative to meet talented New Zealanders from across film, music and technology. Swipe to see the spectacular group shot! #RoyalVisitNZ #NewZealand #Wellington 🎥 Kensington Palace / 📷 PA
The fully decked-out characters were showcasing the artistry of the students at the centre, which runs creative programs for youth to give them the tools and experience to succeed in a number of aspects of the film industry including makeup, prop creation and costume design. The orcs were part of the program’s new exhibition, “Things That Go Bump in the Night.”
THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT on Friday 26th October was huge. Over 300 people came through the doors to celebrate the opening of this incredible exhibition. Only two days left - don’t miss out - Tues 30th, Wed 31st October - 5.00pm - 8.00pm . #ginoacevedo #wellington #courtenaycreativenz #latinamericacape 📸 @vanessarushtonphotography
Before they got into the Halloween spirit, the Sussexes’ morning was spent with metal health advocates and young people at the Maranui Café discussing plans for youth programs and initiatives such as helplines and social media counselling. Harry shared his own struggles with mental health with leaders there, saying “It took me about three or four years to start the journey and then after that you still have to find the right people to speak to.”
The Duke added that he was particularly impressed with the positive work being done for youth by local mental health advocates.
#harryandmeghan sit with local young people to hear about the mental heath initiatives available to help such as in-school programmes, social media and counselling options. #itsoktosay #RoyalTourNZ pic.twitter.com/NR6xa6VpQe— Emily Andrews (@byEmilyAndrews) October 28, 2018
The couple also got to learn more about @NTS_NZ, a group of health helplines. Meghan wore a pin badge promoting their 1737 service, which is a number anyone can text or call for mental health support from a trained counsellor (and has helped 69,431 people in the past 12 months). pic.twitter.com/4xIl7qN0Si— Omid Scobie (@scobie) October 29, 2018
When the couple left the café, they were met with a group of young fans whom they greeted warmly before Meghan sent back into the café for some treats for the kiddos. She’s giving us every reason to believe she’s going to be an incredible mom.
Thank you to everyone that came to greet The Duke and Duchess in windy Wellington following their visit to Maranui Café to meet young New Zealanders working to support each other in the field of #MentalHealth. Among the young people The Duke and Duchess met was Ezekiel Raui, one of The @queensyoungleaders, who after experiencing several youth suicides at his high school founded Te Kotahi, a peer-support programme led by young people. #RoyalVisitNZ #NewZealand #Wellington #queensyoungleaders
These gorgeous kids were waiting outside the Maranui cafe and Meghan sent an aide back into the cage to scoop up all the yummy cakes that she & Harry didn’t eat, to be given to the kids! All together now “Ahhhhhhh” 🍰 🎂 pic.twitter.com/qEBIRWiCCi— Emily Andrews (@byEmilyAndrews) October 28, 2018
Afterwards, it was onto a helicopter for a gorgeous tour of the Abel Tasman National Park and an afternoon of celebrations, a barbecue lunch, hiking, tree-planting and meeting with engaged youth ambassadors. Oh, and apparently there was also time for an adorable stroll along the beach under another umbrella. Seriously, how do we look this cute in the pouring rain?
A recap of Harry and Meghan’s picturesque visit to Abel Tasman National Park, where they choppered in to receive a traditional Māori welcome, bush walked, strolled along the beach, had a BBQ lunch with the park's youth ambassadors and planted a tree👫#RoyalVisitNZ pic.twitter.com/xBnmWx0CzK— Omid Scobie (@scobie) October 29, 2018
☔ On a wet day at the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex learned more about its conservation programmes with @docgovtnz Ranger Andrew Lamason, met local iwi and children involved in conservation projects. #RoyalVisitNZ #NewZealand #AbelTasman
Harry also nicknamed the couple’s upcoming addition in his speech at the park. He told onlookers and conservationists, “From myself, my wife and our little bump, we are so grateful to be here. We bring blessings from my grandmother, the Queen and our family. We are so grateful for your hospitality and the work to look after this beautiful place.”
Come on, “little bump”? We’re swooning over here.
If you ask us, the best part of this Royal trip has been watching these clearly ecstatic parents-to-be drop sweet little baby tidbits all over the place.meghan markleprince harryroyalstrending