While on their New Zealand tour, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visited with mental health workers at the Maranui Cafe in Wellington. The Sun reports that as the couple left the cafe, 10 children stood outside waiting to meet them. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex shook hands with each of the children, and one of them gave Markle some flowers. The last child in line became overwhelmed with emotion so the royal couple gave him a bit of extra attention to cheer him up.
Five-year-old Joe Young stood at the end of the line, waiting his turn to meet Harry and Meghan. He rubbed his eyes and withdrew as they made their way down the line toward him. Realizing he was having a hard time, the duchess knelt in front of Joe and took his hand then placed her hand on his chest in comfort as she spoke to him. When Harry reached Joe, he leaned over to him and tickled his stomach as he spoke some words of encouragement.
Monica Mercury, deputy principal at the school the children attend, said that Joe had been very nervous about meeting Harry and Meghan and that she appreciated how nice they both were to him. Afterwards, the duchess went back inside the cafe and asked the staff to bring trays of cakes out to the children.
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Max Dash, 8, was the little boy who gave Meghan some flowers. He said that she thanked him for them.
“It was so exciting. At the start I was a bit freaked out,” he said. Monica Young-Leathers is also 8-years-old and got to meet the royals. She told The Sun that she had been very surprised when, after begging her teacher to let her meet Harry and Meghan, she said yes. Six-year-old Edith Prebble practiced her curtsey before meeting the couple and told of her preparations for the once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“My granny sent a text to my dad saying I hope you get to curtsey. I said, ‘My name is Edith’ and they said, ‘It’s very nice to meet you.'”
Eight-year-old Rewa Ririnui described learning about getting to meet the newlyweds.
“The most amazing thing ever happened to me. We were told we were going to get a big surprise and they said when they come down the stairs you’ll get a thumbs up. And we wondered who was going to come down the stairs and I was so surprised when Harry and Meghan came down and shook our hands.”
The duke and duchess’s visit to Wellington marked the 14th day of their tour. They were scheduled to take a helicopter ride to Abel Tasman National Park at the tip of South Beach next.