A two-year-old crept through the railings during Harry and Meghan’s final walkabout of their royal tour and managed to get a hug from the Duchess.
Catalina Rivera and her mother Mercedes were among the well-wishers at Rotorua’s Government Gardens, having moved to New Zealand 10 months ago from El Salvador.
As Catalina’s first language is Spanish, Meghan had difficulty communicating with the youngster at first. But Mercedes, who is eight months pregnant, said they soon found a way.
“Meghan said that she (Catalina) was beautiful, and asked her for a hug. We were trying to mime hugging in the background. We were just so excited to see her,” said the mum.
People started queuing hours before the royal party arrived in Rotorua. Among the signs they waved was one saying “Fancy a cuppa, Megs? I have banana bread”, while another said, “Hello your royal bumpness”.
As well as an array of flowers and soft toys, the couple also received a typically Kiwi present during the walkabout. A group of children from Glenholme School caught the attention of Harry and Meghan by performing their school version of the haka – a traditional Maori dance – when the couple approached.
On the fourth day of their New Zealand tour, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex also wore traditional Maori cloaks called Korowai during a visit to Te Papaiouru, Ohinemutu, in Rotorua.