Prince Charles Just Tested Out a Traditional Māori Greeting in New Zealand

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles are wrapping up their eight-day royal tour of New Zealand, but a photo from one of their outings last week definitely caught our attention.

The 71-year-old Prince of Wales was spotted saying hello to locals in the Tuahiwi Marae settlement of Christchurch, New Zealand, with what appears to be an Eskimo kiss. In fact, Prince Charles wasn’t trying out a new form of salutation, it’s actually a traditional Māori greeting called a hongi that is standard for the area. The welcome is similar to a handshake and occurs when two people press their noses and foreheads against each other.

We also witnessed Meghan Markle and Prince Harry using the same form of greeting during their Oceania tour last October, when they arrived at the Government House and met Governor-General Patsy Reddy, who initiated the hongi.

While in Christchurch, the Princes of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, 72, met with well-wishers and the duchess even stopped by the Riverside Market and sampled some local produce. (Interestingly, the market was rebuilt after an earthquake in 2011 using all recycled timber and parts of the former building.) Additionally, Camilla popped into the Riverside Kitchen to get some Kiwi cooking tips from Chef Elliott, visited the Salvation Army Centre to learn more about its programs for the city’s older residents and even watched a Silver Swans (ballerinas over 55) performance.

This is the couple’s third joint visit to New Zealand and their first in four years. Thus far, it seems like a smashing success.

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Lex Goodman

Cat mom, yogi, brunch enthusiast

Lex is an LA native who's deeply obsessed with picnics, Slim Aarons, rosé, Hollywood history and Joan Didion. She joined PureWow in early 2017.
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