Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made the most out of their visit to Tonga this past week by mingling with Olympians at an official dinner and reception. According to Today, the Duke and Duchess have been traveling all over, spending a night away at a Fijian resort before proceeding to the Pacific nation of Tonga. The royal couple spent one day in Tonga before moving on to Sydney.
During their stay in Tonga, the Duke and Duchess met with Pita Taufatofua, a favorite participant from both the 2016 and 2018 opening ceremonies of the Olympics. Taufatofua was a flag bearer in both of these ceremonies but is perhaps best known for his impressive physique which caught the attention of many throughout the world who were watching these events. He appeared shirtless with a highly oiled chest.
Taufatofua, who is from Australia, received a plethora of social media attention following his first performance at the Rio Summer Olympics in 2016 in which he participated in taekwondo. However, many would argue the attention was sparked less from taekwondo technique than it was from his physical appearance. Many viewers turned to social media to comment on his chiseled features and even dubbed him #TongaBae.
The 34-year-old athlete was humbled and thrilled at the opportunity to greet the Duke and Duchess during their visit. Although he is more comfortable in less formal attire, the event required Taufatofua to come dressed in a suit. While settling with the top half of a suit, he coupled the look with a traditional Tonga style grass suit and completed the ensemble with sandals.
As far as his interaction with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Taufatofua said that they too teased him about his past look. “We had a laugh about the oil,” Taufatofua said. “It was all in good fun!”
He also commended the Duke and Duchess for taking the time to greet every individual present at the event. They did not seem to be in a rush and even purchased some Tongan clothing items for themselves. They were both photographed sporting Tongan grass skirts of their own, Prince Harry wearing his over his dress slacks. In an interview with Cosmopolitan, Taufatofua said he could tell the royal couple is a very special pair.
“The reception started with Harry and Meghan taking a long time to meet and greet every single person there,” Taufatofua told Cosmopolitan. “That really stood out as something special, that both of them not only met, but also spoke to a lot of guests.”