The Royals Arrive in New Zealand to a Warm Maori Welcome
Prince William, his wife Catherine, and their son Prince George arrived in New Zealand on Monday where they received a traditional welcome from the Maori people at the Government House in Wellington.
The couple watched a war dance, were greeted by Maori elders, Lewis Moeau and Hiria Hape, with a nose press, or hongi, and chatted with some of the warriors after the ceremonies, according to USA Today. The greeting is a way for the Maori to determine of their guests are friends or foes.
People reported that the Duchess appeared “slightly startled” as three male warriors picked up their spears and moved toward the couple uttering a wail call (karanga) and performing a haka powhiri (welcome dance). They offered Prince William a raku tapu dart, and the couple were regarded as “friends” after William picked it up while keeping eye contact with the warrior.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand. It is their first official trip overseas with their son Prince George of Cambridge who is 8 months old.
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Locals braved the windy and rainy weather to meet the royal couple.
During their trip, they will visit a Maori tribe, a rugby stadium and a vineyard, as well as take in a yacht race before heading to Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Queensland, Adelaide and Canberra.
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