Even though they’ve stepped back from royal duties, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are continuing to show their support for the Commonwealth.
In a new Instagram post on Wednesday, the couple gave a warm shoutout to all Kiwis on Waitangi Day, the national day of New Zealand that commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. The post highlights the “special time” the pair had, showing five photos of Meghan and Harry in New Zealand from 2018 as part of the final leg in their 16-day tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.
“To all of our Kiwi followers, sending our very best to each of you on Waitangi Day! 🇳🇿” the caption read. “As a commonwealth country and a realm, today we honour the spirit and diversity of New Zealand, and we feel particularly reminded of the special time we had there during our tour in 2018.”
“The Duke and Duchess send their best wishes to all the people of New Zealand,” the post concluded, followed by a Maori translation.
In October 2018, when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were expecting Archie, the two traveled with Invictus Games competitors from New Zealand and were greeted at the airport by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Upon their arrival in New Zealand, they were given ornate traditional robes as they attended a traditional welcome ceremony on the grounds of Government House, the residence of the Governor General of New Zealand.
The couple then traveled to the Government House where they were invited to hongi — a traditional Māori greeting in which people press their noses together — with the Governor-General’s Kuia and Kaumātua (Māori elders).
On their final day of appearances in New Zealand before heading back to London, the royal couple visited Te Papaiouru Marae for a formal pōwhiri and luncheon in their honor. A pōwhiri is a traditional Māori welcoming ceremony involving speeches, dancing, singing and the hongi.
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In January, Meghan and Prince Harry shocked the world when they announced they were stepping back as senior members of the royal family, “while still continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen,” in an official statement posted on their Instagram account as well as their official Sussex Royal website.
“We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages,” the statement continued.
The couple are currently living in the Commonwealth of Canada, and are enjoying a “quiet life” on Vancouver Island.
“They go for long walks, they do yoga, and Meghan cooks. They are real homebodies who love to chill out with Archie and the dogs.”