As it happened: Gumboot throwing and gifts galore, as royal mania hits Auckland

Relive all the action as Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle in Auckland for the third day of their royal tour of New Zealand.

5.50pm: This concludes 1 NEWS' live coverage of Prince Harry and Meghan in Auckland. The couple will attend a reception at the Auckland War Memorial tonight which will be covered in depth by 1 NEWS.

Also, make sure to join us again tomorrow as they make their way to Rotorua.

5.20: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had a long public walk, making sure to shake hands and speak with the many fans who had gathered at the Viaduct Harbour today.

5.16: Earlier in the walk, Prince Harry kneeled down to speak with a young fan, who gave the royals a tui plush toy.

3.45: Crowds of people and construction workers waiting in anticipation.

3.35: Fans have left work and university to get a glimpse of the royals.

3.25: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are joined by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as they meet some of the families and mentors supported by the Pillars.

3.15: Duchess of Sussex enjoys touching moment, as young girl hands her flowers during visit to Auckland charity. Watch video and read story here.

3.00: Cute! The Duchess of Sussex is presented with flowers by six-year-old Ghianna Angi as the couple arrive at Pillars.

2.47: The Duke and Duchess were gifted a pounamu at Redvale's Carol Whaley Native Bush.

2.35: 'It is just so surreal' - Kiwi mental health advocates speak about meeting Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Read the story here.

2.27: That's dedication right there! People lined up at Wynyard Quarter already.

2.15pm: Watch a delighted Meghan Markle beat Prince Harry at classic Kiwi gumboot throwing competition.  You can watch the video and read the full story here.

2.10pm: Before leaving for a private lunch, Harry and Meghan were gifted a pair of tiny colourful Wellington boots.

2.00pm: Here's a great shot of today's gumboot action from Associated Press photographer Kirsty Wigglesworth.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex reacts with children from the Trees in Survival group in a 'gumboot-throwing' contest following a ceremony to dedicate a 20-hectare area of native bush to the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy in Auckland, New Zealand, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018. Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day 15 of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, participates in a gumboot throwing competition with Auckland school children. Source: Associated Press

1.43pm: Here's a look at the plaque the royal couple dedicated during today's ceremony as Redvale's Carol Whaley Native Bush became part of the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy. 

1.35pm: QEII National Trust has pointed out that Meghan's wedding veil included distinctive flora from each Commonwealth country, including a kōwhai flower from New Zealand. So it made sense to have her plant a kōwhai tree today.

Trust Chair James Guild said he hopes the tree will have further significance as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex grow their family: "We would love to think that one day Baby Sussex might return to New Zealand to check in on the trees his or her parents planted on their first Royal visit to New Zealand.” 

Some fun facts about the tree, via QEII: Kōwhai is found throughout New Zealand. It produces abundant flowers in spring and is a favourite food of tree geckos, tui, bellbird and kereru. Kōwhai also means yellow in te reo Māori.

1.25pm: New Zealand Post has just announced the release of a stamp collection marking the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's tour of the country. Designers have been working fast to create the memento since the royals arrived in Wellington on Sunday. You can read the full story, or watch the video, here.

1.17pm: For those of you unaware of the term "welly wanging", which has been popping up quite a bit on social media this afternoon, it's how the Brits - Kensington Palace included - choose to reference a gumboot toss. 

1.09pm: The royal couple's next stop will be a 2.45pm tour of South Auckland charity Pillars alongside Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The non-profit, which mentors children who have parents in prison, has special significance for the couple. When they wed in May, the couple had asked for donations to charities instead of wedding gifts. Ms Ardern chose to donate $5000 to Pillars in Meghan and Harry's name on behalf of New Zealand.

The wedding is this Saturday, and the happy couple had a special request for those who wanted to send them presents. Source: 1 NEWS

1.02pm: London-based royal commentator Omid Scobie caught the gumboot throwing action on video, and some of the intense rain they endured. 

12.59pm: Here's another image via Kensington Palace of the newlyweds appearing to have a genuinely good time this afternoon with school children despite the dreary Auckland weather. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex compete in a gumboot throwing competition with school children on Auckland's North Shore. Source: Kensington Palace

12.52pm: Pinehill School pupil Isabella Iti said the couple “looked like they were really trying to throw the gum boot as far as they could”.

She described meeting the Duchess was “awesome”.

“It was amazing,” the 10-year-old said. “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.”

12.51pm: Here's an official image released by Kensington Palace of the two at ease with children during the event. 

12.47pm: Prince Harry gave it his best shot, but his gumboot chucking precision just couldn't match his wife's. 

12.45pm: Prince Harry said “thank you very much” to organisers as he and his wife got into the white BMW 4WD that will take them to their next engagement in Manukau.

They wound down the window and smiled at the mob of media as the vehicle pulled away. 

12.43pm: The Duke and Duchess are shaking hands with members of the QEII Trust as they leave the forest, waving goodbye to about 100 of the trust’s supporters.

12.37pm: The couple have been gifted infant-sized gumboots. Prince Harry and Meghan then participated in a hongi with members of the QEII Trust and are now answering questions from school children - with some of their answers greeted with laughter from the kids.

12.36pm: The gumboot throwing has begun with children cheering their peers’ and the Duke and Duchess’ names as they step up to the mark. Each throw is marked with a yellow or red flag.

Prince Harry threw a blue spotted boot and Meghan a red one.

The Duchess won the competition, with her boot landing about a metre from her husband’s. she won a trophy shaped as a gumboot.  

12.33pm: Limited mobile reception has made it difficult to send photos out of the ceremony, but here's one from Mail on Sunday reporter Charlotte Wace that managed to get through.

12.31pm: The Duke and Duchess, along with two pupils from Pinehill School, have donned green gardening gloves to plant native trees.

His Royal Highness planted a puriri tree, indigenous to the northern part of the North Island.

The Duchess of Sussex planted a kōwhai tree.

The Duchess could be heard praising the children for the effort planting the trees. “Well done,” she said.  

12.27pm: Prince Harry said he and his wife were delighted to be here “and the rain is a blessing”.

New Zealand was one of the first countries to join the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy, Which was set up in 2015.

“As I learnt in the car, there are no incentives [for joining the QCC],” the duke said. Farmers are getting on board because they want to preserve the natural environment.  

12.24pm: Canadian journalist Jamie Samhan says the weather out there today has been an "emotional rollercoaster". Welcome to New Zealand. 

12.20pm: The North Shore Riding club owns the land that the native bush is on. A club representative said she knows the beauty of the bush personally, seeing it every day as she rides her horse, named Harry.

“I would’ve loved the two Harrys to meet,” she said.

12.17pm: Huge smiles from the Prince Harry and Meghan as the children finish their waiata to a round of applause.

James Guild, chair of Queen Elizabeth II Trust said he was delighted to welcome the pair and congratulated them on their pregnancy.  

12.12pm: Meghan looked concerned as the rain started bucketing down over the singing children.

12.09pm: Their hosts have raised umbrellas as a heavy shower has begun. About 10 children from the local Pinehill Scholl are performing a waiata.

12.07pm: Their Royal Highnesses have been greeted with a powhiri and are seated on white chairs for mihi by kaumatua.

12.01pm: They've arrived! The Duchess is wearing J Crew jeans and a Karen Walker blazer, her hair tied up in a pony tail.

12.00pm: The best opportunity for Aucklanders to see the royals in person today will be during their "public walkabout", scheduled to take place from 3.55 to 4.20 at Viaduct Harbour. But you'll have to get in line behind nine-year-old Emma, who has been there since before 8am with her siblings and mother, waiting to gift the soon-to-be parents a Buzzy Bee.

11.53am: While at the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy, the newlyweds are also expected to plant native trees with the school children in attendance. 

11.45am: Here's a glimpse of what the commute is looking like for the royals today. But, Auckland being Auckland, there's always the chance it could be sunny and warm in another five minutes. 

11.40am: Harry and Meghan are scheduled to first dedicate a 20-hectare section of native bush, a ceremony that will include the unveilling of a plaque. They will then participate in the gumboot throwing contest with children in the "Trees for Survival" group. RNZ's Katie Scotcher says they will be tossing NZ-made Red Band boots.  

11.35am: It's pouring down rain in Redvale, on Auckland's North Shore, as reporters await the arrival of the royal couple in the next few minutes. 

11.30am: Here's a full rundown of today's events...

11.25am: Good morning and welcome to 1 NEWS' live blog of day three of the Duke and Duchess royal four day tour of New Zealand.

First the good news, there are plenty of opportunities to see Prince Harry and Meghan Markle today, with a plaque unveiling and gumboot throwing contest on the North Shore followed by a public walkabout at the Viaduct Harbour around 4pm this afternoon.

There also a reception hosted by Jacinda Ardern at the Auckland War Memorial Museum at 7pm tonight.

The bad news - it's raining. The royal couple had a wet day on the Abel Tasman yesterday, lets hope it sorts itself out.

The sun broke through the clouds for the royal visit after a day of wet weather. Source: 1 NEWS


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