Duchess Kate Gets Skinful, Nose-Rubbing New Zealand Welcome

Monday, 07 Apr 2014 09:11 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Duchess Kate Middleton and Prince William arrived in New Zealand on Monday where they were met with an official state welcome that included some skin from traditionally dressed Maori warriors and various local dignitaries with whom they rubbed noses – a traditional Maori greeting known as a "Hongi."

The Royal couple's 30-hour flight to New Zealand was reportedly delayed a day due to inclement weather. The wet conditions, however, did not hamper the meet and greet in Wellington, New Zealand, which is part of a three-week Royal visit to the former British colony that also includes subsequent visits to the Australian cities of Sydney and Canberra.

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While meeting with local New Zealand dignitaries outside the Government House in Wellington, the Duchess seemed particularly smitten, if her eyes are any indication, with one of the half-naked, heavily tattooed Maori warriors she met with her husband by her side.

The Duchess was wearing a pillar-box red coat by British designer Catherine Walker. The look was a favorite of Prince William’s late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, the Daily Mail noted. This was reportedly the Duchess' first trip to either New Zealand or Australia.

Aside from their exotic greetings and elegant attire, the royal couple also appeared with their 8-month-old son Prince George, who as reportedly making only his second appearance in public since he first left the hospital last July.

"The tour has been designed with Prince George’s consideration and comfort in mind," the couple’s private secretary, Miguel Head, told reporters earlier in the month, the Daily Mail noted. "Taking a nine month old on a Royal tour is not a first, but it has not happened in this Royal Family’s context for many, many years so there has been much to think about – as any new parent travelling long distance will recognize."

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