Associated Press
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince George arrive in New Zealand

The Royals Arrive in New Zealand to a Warm Maori Welcome

ICTMN Staff
4/7/14

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.

Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge is greeted in New Zealand with a hongi (Associated Press)

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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Maori warriors performe a haka powhiri welcome dance for the royal couple (Associated Press)

 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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