Girls queue for 9 hours to meet Meghan and Harry in New Zealand

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Daily Mail

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left two 10-year-olds who had waited nine hours to meet them in New Zealand grinning from ear to ear after they agreed to pose for a rare selfie.

Sophie Hubbard and Hope Watson waited to see the royal couple in the grounds of the National War Memorial in Wellington, their first stop in New Zealand.

After laying a wreath at the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, the Duke and Duchess then made their way to the crowds.

Mother Jan Richardson who was with the girls asked Harry and Meghan three times for the snap.

She said: ‘I decided to be quite blunt and asked three times, “Can I get a photo, can I get a photo?”. Harry said, “Yeah, sure!”.

‘Meghan started to talk to them and I thought, “I’m just going to ask”.

‘We’ve been here since 8 o’clock. There was a contemplation about staying overnight for the fun of it.’

The mother and father-to-be arrived in the country from Sydney for the final stretch of their marathon 16-day tour which has also seen them visit Fiji and Tonga.

The couple were given gifts including a Buzzy Bee – a popular toy from New Zealand – which Harry held in celebration after it was passed down through the rows of crowds.

Pictures of Harry’s brother, the Duke of Cambridge, playing with the toy during the visit of the Prince of Wales and Diana in 1983 made front pages around the world.

Another royal fan with a gift was Alexandra MacKay, 10, who handed the duchess a homemade red rose brooch with gold accent which she immediately attached to her Karen Walker trench coat.

Alexandra, an aspiring designer, said: ‘I said, “It’s really nice to meet you”, and then we gave her the brooch.

‘She said, “Wow, how did you make it? How long did it take?”

‘I want to be a fashion designer when I grow up – this is a good start.’

The cheers and screams from the walkabout were a sharp contrast to the sombre moments previously as the Sussexes paid their respects at the war memorial.

Both Harry and Meghan laid fern fronds on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, then laid a wreath before heading into the building.

The couple were then shown the UK War Memorial, designed to show the trunks of the Royal Oak and Pohutakawa trees intertwining to form a single canopy.

The memorial, which features stained glass leaves and has the silhouette of a soldier between the branches, was unveiled by then-foreign secretary Boris Johnson in July 2017.

Earlier in the day, the couple had received a traditional welcome to New Zealand when they rubbed noses with Maori elders on the grounds of Government House.

The couple also watched the fearsome haka and met schoolchildren, with the duchess saying the weather in Windy Wellington had left her cold.

Governor-General (Dame) Pasty Reddy welcomed the royals to her home and, as they stepped onto the grass in front of the colonial building, the Maori welcome or Powhiri began.

Harry, 34, and Meghan were first met by the two most senior Maori elders – kaumatua Piri Sciascia and Kuia, Te Ripowai Higgins.

The royals performed a hongi – or nose rub – with Professor Sciascia and Mrs Higgins as the Royal New Zealand Air Force band played.

Then Harry was formally challenged by three Maori warriors to see if he was acceptable to be invited in.

On Monday, the couple will travel to Abel Tasman National Park for a series of engagements about conservation.