Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are on the final leg of their Pacific royal tour which has seen them travel through Australia, Fiji, and Tonga already. The couple is now in New Zealand, and onto the second last days of their trip.
On Tuesday morning in Auckland, Harry and Meghan visited a conservation area north of the city of Auckland, where they were due to unveil another dedication to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy project. While there, they also partook in a very Kiwi tradition: a gumboot throwing competition.
Per the Sydney Morning Herald, the competition pitted Harry and Meghan into two separate teams against one another, with the duchess’ team claiming victory.
Isabella Iti, 10, who was among the children cheering on the gumboot toss, said that Meghan had not believed it was a competition she would win against her husband.
“There wasn’t too much of a rivalry. I think she was thinking that there was no chance that she would win. But she did.”
The duchess ended up managing to through her gumboot approximately 3 ft 2in further than her husband’s red boot.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) October 30, 2018
The tradition of the gumboot tossing competition can be linked to the rural town of Taihape, about 260 miles south of Auckland, where an annual gumboot festival is held.
Mike Jebsen, chief executive of the QEII National Trust, explained that the mayor of Taihape had offered his blessing for the couple to try their hand at a gumboot toss.
“We wanted to give the royal couple a taste of rural New Zealand, and there’s nothing more quintessentially Kiwi than a gumboot throw!” he said.
While there, Meghan helped to plant a Kōwhai tree for the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy, a special flower for the duchess, as it featured on her wedding veil in May.
For the occasion, Meghan was dressed in a pair of black J Crew jeans and a navy jacket by Kiwi designer Karen Walker. She also had on a pair of black gumboots which have been identified as being designed by The Original Muck Boot Company. Harry went with a similar outfit, opting for a pair of light grey jeans, black gumboots, and a long dark brown coat. Both changed into black puffer jackets for the gumboot toss.
The couple was also gifted another two pairs of shoes ready for the royal bump, this time two pairs of tiny little gumboots for a pair of tiny little feet. Harry and Meghan were previously gifted a pair of baby Ugg boots by Governor-General of Australia Sir Peter Cosgrove and his wife Lady Cosgrove.