Britain’s Prince Harry receives a hongi (traditional Maori greeting) from a Maori warrior during his official welcome at the Government House in Wellington, New Zealand, on Saturday.
Wearing a blue suit, Harry stopped to say hello to cheering fans as he began his first visit to the South Pacific commonwealth nation of 4.5 million.
He pressed noses with an indigenous Maori man in a traditional greeting called a “hongi” and met with military representatives. He also talked with schoolchildren, feigning surprise when some told him they didn’t play rugby.
“I thought you would be forced to play rugby,” he said. “That’s why you have such a good rugby team isn’t it?”
One young girl gave Harry a card for his niece, Princess Charlotte, which the prince popped in his suit pocket and promised to pass along. Charlotte was born last week, bumping Harry down a notch to fifth in line to the throne.
Harry is also scheduled to visit Christchurch, Whanganui, Linton and Auckland.
The prince arrived from Australia after a monthlong embedment there with the Australian army.