Royal Couple Have Near Miss With Earthquake In New Zealand
Pesky weather, a bit of gumboot throwing and a near-miss with an earthquake have marked the penultimate day of Prince Harry and Meghan's royal tour.
Lashings of wind a rain did little to dampen the spirits of fans determined to see the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as they took a jaunt down the waterfront of New Zealand's biggest city, Auckland, on Tuesday.
Some waited as long as eight hours in on-and-off-again downpours to catch a glimpse, nine-year-old Ella saying she had been there they whole day with her mother to hand the royals a soft toy.
Strolling with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern - who got in a few selfies of her own with the crowd - Meghan and Harry were lavished with gifts by the screaming crowd, including an All Blacks onesie for their baby, plenty of flowers and a rendition of New Zealand's national anthem in Maori.
Although the royal tour has now gone for more than two weeks, local fans showed no signs of exhaustion, climbing every steady object in sight to get a glimpse as the sun finally made an appearance.
But as the crowd waited, an unusually long magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck farther south, terrifying residents where the Duke and Duchess had been just hours earlier.
However, it was a royal game of gumboot tossing that stole the day.
While they had serious ecological work on the schedule during a trip to a native bush area in the morning, Meghan and Harry waded into the mud for attempt at the unusual and quintessentially rural Kiwi game sometimes referred to as "wellie wanging".
Stepping up to the mark with school children from their respective teams cheering them on, the Duke heaved a blue spotted boot, the Duchess a red one.
READ MORE: Meghan Markle's Kind Act To Kiwi Schoolkids
In the end it was Meghan - in J Crew jeans, a Karen Walker blazer, and her own gumboots - that walked away with the trophy - although the Duke vowed to students he'd win next time.
"If you're calling wellie wanging or gumboot throwing a sport, maybe we should have a three-test series and see who comes out on top," Harry told an audience later in the day.
In the evening, the Duchess swapped into an Antonio Berardi dress as she and the Prince were welcomed on the steps of the Auckland War Memorial Museum by the prime minister for a lively reception.
Ardern took the chance to prod fun at the weather, describing her country as "the land of the long white cloud, where a little bit of rain tends to fall from".
Wednesday will mark the final day of Meghan and Harry's tour across Australia and the Pacific and will be spent in central North Island town of Rotorua.