Heritage

Meghan Markle Is Already Practicing Her Hongi for the Royal Tour of New Zealand

She's the latest in a long line of royals who have mastered the traditional Mãori greeting.
IMAGE GETTY IMAGES/ WPA POOL
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Today, Meghan Markle helped open "Oceania," a new exhibition of art from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Tonga at the Royal Academy of Art. The Duchess of Sussex's first solo engagement was the perfect introduction to the region, where she will be traveling next month on a royal tour with Prince Harry.

Not only did she see works from each of the countries, but she also got to practice her "hongi," the traditional greeting of New Zeland's Mãori people, in which noses and foreheads are pressed together gently. It's somewhat analogous to a formal handshake in Western culture.

ITV captured one of Meghan's interactions on film, which the network's royal editor Chris Ship shared on Twitter, along with a punny caption:

Meghan seems to have mastered the form, but she's hardly the first member of the royal to try her hand, well nose, at the custom. Given that Queen Elizabeth is the monarch of New Zealand in addition to the United Kingdom, it should come as no surprise that several of her relatives have been photographed receiving the traditional greeting.

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For example here is Princess Diana during her 1983 visit to Auckland:


And here is Prince Charles on his tour of New Zealand in 2015:


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When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited New Zealand in 2014, Kate was photographed rubbing noses several times:


As was Prince William:


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Perhaps Prince Harry is giving Meghan some tips on her Hongi form. Most recently, the Duke of Sussex was seen participating in the custom during his trip to Auckland in May of 2015.


Harry and Meghan head to Australia on October 16 just a few days after Harry's cousin Princess Eugenie's wedding. They will then travel to Fiji and Tonga, and will finish their trip in New Zealand, visiting the island nation from October 27 to October 31. See their full itinerary below:

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This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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Caroline Hallemann
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