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Thursday, 25 October 2018

Earning their stripes! Meghan dazzles in a cotton dress as she and Harry don grass skirts to meet the Tongan prime minister - a day after her fashion faux pas with a shopping tag

  • The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have met with Tonga's prime minister in the country's capital Nuku'alofa 
  • Mother-to-be Meghan arrived for the meeting wearing a striped print dress by an Australian designer 
  • They later ventured to the Fa'onelua Centre to take part in a noisy celebration of Tongan youth and culture 
  • Following that visit, they headed to the unveiling of The Queen's Commonwealth Canopy at Tupou College  
  • The royal couple had a morning full of engagements in Tonga before they headed back to Sydney, Australia
The pregnant Duchess of Sussex has dazzled in a green and white cotton designer dress as she and her husband met with Tonga's Prime Minister and his deputy as the latest stage of their marathon 16-day royal tour. 
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle dropped by the St George Government Buildings in the country's capital Nuku'alofa for an early morning call on Akilisi Pohiva, deputy Semisi Lafu Kioa Sika and the cabinet.
The mother-to-be was wearing a striped print dress by Australian-born fashion designer Martin Grant, brushing off the minor fashion faux pas she made when she arrived in Tonga a day earlier in a striking red dress.
The Duchess, 37, still had the label hanging from her Self Portrait dress as she walked along a red carpet to the sounds of local singers wearing grass skirts at Fua'amotu Airport in Nuku'alofa on Thursday. Prince Harry and wife Meghan arrived for a meeting with Tongan prime minister Akilisi Pohiva on Friday morning, local time
Prince Harry and wife Meghan arrived for a meeting with Tongan prime minister Akilisi Pohiva on Friday morning, local time
The Duchess arrived wearing a striped cotton dress by Australian-born fashion designer Martin Grant 
The Duchess arrived wearing a striped cotton dress by Australian-born fashion designer Martin Grant 
It is the second time on the couple's whirlwind royal tour Meghan has stepped-out in one of Grant's designs
It is the second time on the couple's whirlwind royal tour Meghan has stepped-out in one of Grant's designs
The royal couple are pictured meeting Tonga's Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva, second left, and Deputy Prime Minister Semisi Lafu Kioa Sika, left, in Nuku'alofa
The royal couple are pictured meeting Tonga's Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva, second left, and Deputy Prime Minister Semisi Lafu Kioa Sika, left, in Nuku'alofa
Their Royal Highnesses arrived for the meeting having attended a formal dinner in the country the night before
Their Royal Highnesses arrived for the meeting having attended a formal dinner in the country the night before
The visit to the St George Government Buildings was part of day 11 of the royal couple's 16-day tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand 
The visit to the St George Government Buildings was part of day 11 of the royal couple's 16-day tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand 
A glowing Duchess greets Tonga's Deputy Prime Minister Semisi Lafu Kioa Sika outside the St George Government Buildings
A glowing Duchess greets Tonga's Deputy Prime Minister Semisi Lafu Kioa Sika outside the St George Government Buildings
The Duchess, 37, paired her chic ensemble with a  Prada Bibliothèque Bag and her Birks Bee Chic earrings
The Duchess, 37, paired her chic ensemble with a Prada Bibliothèque Bag and her Birks Bee Chic earrings
The Duke and Duchess spent less than 24 hours in Tonga, in between engagements in Fiji and Australia 

The couple were also met by more than 50 civil servants wearing red and black shirts and traditional outfits as they entered the St George Government Buildings for the meeting, most of which was held in private.
One child held a sign saying 'free hugs' which drew a smile from Meghan after she spotted it.
The couple then took the lift to meet the Prime Minister, with Prince Harry asking 'Did you enjoy last night? The entertainment was very good'. 
He was referring to a display of traditional Tongan entertainment after a formal dinner with King Tupou VI.The Duke and Duchess were later garlanded with necklaces made from Fa and Puatonga flowers as they arrived at the Fa'onelua Centre to celebrate Tongan youth and culture.
The royals each sat on throne-like chairs in the middle of the room, where they were presented with the necklaces, before Princess Angelika gave a speech after a prayer was read. 
The princess described the royal couple as 'an inspiration to the youth of the Commonwealth' as they were 'shining a light on youth empowerment'.
'Your visit today draws attention to the fundamentals of today's youth, youth leadership, youth empowerment and addressing the social, economic and environmental challenges of our region,' she said.       
The Duke and Duchess were garlanded as they arrived for a noisy celebration of Tongan youth and culture following the meeting
The Duke and Duchess were garlanded as they arrived for a noisy celebration of Tongan youth and culture following the meeting
The necklaces which were presented to the royal couple were made from Fa and Puatonga flowers 
The necklaces which were presented to the royal couple were made from Fa and Puatonga flowers 
The royal couple added locally-made attire to their ensemble while carrying out their official duties in Tonga
The royal couple added locally-made attire to their ensemble while carrying out their official duties in Tonga
The couple were given a Taovala - an outfit added onto your clothing - which signifies Tongan respect to the higher ranks 
The couple were given a Taovala - an outfit added onto your clothing - which signifies Tongan respect to the higher ranks 
The royals were visiting the Fa'onelua Centre for a showcase of Tongan products, including traditional mats and 'tapa' cloth, carvings and bracelets made from whale bone and wood
The royals were visiting the Fa'onelua Centre for a showcase of Tongan products, including traditional mats and 'tapa' cloth, carvings and bracelets made from whale bone and wood
The visit to Tonga by the Duke and Duchess has been described as one that has inspired the country's youth to be 'the best they can be'
The visit to Tonga by the Duke and Duchess has been described as one that has inspired the country's youth to be 'the best they can be'
Tonga's Princess Angelika, who is a diplomat herself, described the visit by the Duke and Duchess as the 'ultimate diplomacy'
Tonga's Princess Angelika, who is a diplomat herself, described the visit by the Duke and Duchess as the 'ultimate diplomacy'
Meghan and husband Prince Harry were met by more than 50 civil servants when they arrived at the St George Government Buildings 
Meghan and husband Prince Harry were met by more than 50 civil servants when they arrived at the St George Government Buildings 
The Duchess was shown to her seat by her husband ahead of the meeting with Tonga's political leaders, the bulk of which was held in private
The Duchess was shown to her seat by her husband ahead of the meeting with Tonga's political leaders, the bulk of which was held in private
The Duke and Duchess spent the morning in Tonga before heading back to Sydney, Australia as they continue their mammoth royal tour 
The Duke and Duchess spent the morning in Tonga before heading back to Sydney, Australia as they continue their mammoth royal tour 
The royal couple were greeted by excited locals as they arrived for the meeting with Tonga's political leaders
The royal couple were greeted by excited locals as they arrived for the meeting with Tonga's political leaders
She added the couple's visit to the South Pacific - what Captain James Cook had called 'Friendly Islands' - had inspired the youth in Tonga to be 'the best they can be'.
The Queen's visit to the island in 1953 had been the 'historical highlight' in relations between Britain and Tonga, the princess said in her speech.
The princess, who is a diplomat herself, also noted the visit by the Duke and Duchess was the 'ultimate diplomacy'. 
Prince Harry and Meghan also joined with the princess and Prince Ata in being shown locally-made products, including traditional mats and 'tapa' cloth, carvings and bracelets made from whale bone and wood.
Once outside the centre, the couple were each given a Taovala each - an outfit added onto clothing. The Taovala signifies Tongan respect to the higher ranks.
They then met local Tongan traders and craftsmen as the Masani group of singers and dancers performed island music and songs, with Prince Harry appearing to do a little jig as the music started. 
The Duke and Duchess were given a picture of the Royal Tongan Motif, Fata O Tu'i Tongan. Uili Lousi, art and artisan, said, 'They said they will put it in their home'.
The Duchess of Sussex changed into a blue Veronica Beard dress following two morning royal engagements in Tonga
The Duchess of Sussex changed into a blue Veronica Beard dress following two morning royal engagements in Tonga
The mother-to-be wore the blue dress as she attended the unveiling of The Queen's Commonwealth Canopy at Tupou College
The mother-to-be wore the blue dress as she attended the unveiling of The Queen's Commonwealth Canopy at Tupou College
Meghan Markle had changed into the blue dress after earlier wearing a green and white striped dress at previous engagements during the day 
Meghan Markle had changed into the blue dress after earlier wearing a green and white striped dress at previous engagements during the day 
The Queens's Commonwealth Canopy dedication is one of four official engagements the Duchess and her husband were carrying out in Tonga on Friday
The Queens's Commonwealth Canopy dedication is one of four official engagements the Duchess and her husband were carrying out in Tonga on Friday
The Duke of Sussex also changed clothes for the Tupou College engagement, opting for a more casual outfit compared to the formal attire he wore earlier in the day
The Duke of Sussex also changed clothes for the Tupou College engagement, opting for a more casual outfit compared to the formal attire he wore earlier in the day
Prince Harry joined his wife in wearing blue, choosing a navy blue shirt which was tucked into beige trousers
Prince Harry joined his wife in wearing blue, choosing a navy blue shirt which was tucked into beige trousers
The Duchess of Sussex met with delighted young students while she and her husband were visiting Tupou College 
The Duchess of Sussex met with delighted young students while she and her husband were visiting Tupou College 

The two students each presented Meghan with a bouquet of colourful flowers, which she received with a smile 
'My wife and I are so pleased to be here today to mark the dedication of not one but two forest areas to The Queen's Commonwealth Canopy initiative,' Prince Harry said in a speech 
'My wife and I are so pleased to be here today to mark the dedication of not one but two forest areas to The Queen's Commonwealth Canopy initiative,' Prince Harry said in a speech 
The royal couple took great interest in a parrot during their visit to Tupou College in Tonga
The royal couple took great interest in a parrot during their visit to Tupou College in Tonga
The Duchess then made a quick dress change as she and her husband continued their official royal engagements in Tonga.
Meghan slipped into a blue Veronica Beard dress as the pair attended the dedication of two forest areas to The Queen's Commonwealth Canopy at Tupou College.
'My wife and I are so pleased to be here today to mark the dedication of not one but two forest areas to The Queen's Commonwealth Canopy initiative, which started in 2015 in honour of my grandmother's lifetime of service to the Commonwealth,' Prince Harry said in a speech at the college.  
'Tonga is leading by example and understands deeply the impact of environmental changes because they directly affect these islands. Planting trees and conserving forests helps us in so many ways. 
'It is a simple but effective way to restore and repair our environment, clean the air, protect habitat and enhance our health and wellbeing.'The Duchess of Sussex made a minor fashion faux pas when she arrived in Tonga a day earlier wearing a striking red dress
The Duchess of Sussex made a minor fashion faux pas when she arrived in Tonga a day earlier wearing a striking red dress
Meghan Markle had the label still hanging from her red Self Portrait dress as she walked along a red carpet following her arrival in Tonga
Meghan Markle had the label still hanging from her red Self Portrait dress as she walked along a red carpet following her arrival in Tonga
The Duchess made the minor fashion faux pas on arrival at Fua'amotu Airport in Nuku'alofa, the capital of Tonga
The Duchess made the minor fashion faux pas on arrival at Fua'amotu Airport in Nuku'alofa, the capital of Tonga
Before they left the Duke and Duchess were driven to the Royal Palace for an audience with King Tupou VI and his wife Queen Nanasipau'u.
The couple entered the wooden, whitewashed palace and spent around 15 minutes inside with Tonga's royals.
Prince Harry had changed into a suit following his excursion to the rainforest but Meghan was still in her blue Veronica Beard shirt dress.
The Duke and Duchess signed a visitor's book before they left and then posed outside with the King and Queen for photographers.
They also shook hands with the Tongan ruler and his wife, Meghan, noticeably curtsying to the Queen. 
Two children held up a sign for Prince Harry and wife Meghan as they waited for the couple's arrival at the St George Government Buildings
Two children held up a sign for Prince Harry and wife Meghan as they waited for the couple's arrival at the St George Government Buildings
One of the children played on the floor as he waited for the Duke and Duchess to arrive at the government buildings in Nuku'alofa
One of the children played on the floor as he waited for the Duke and Duchess to arrive at the government buildings in Nuku'alofa
The two children were part of an official welcome party meeting the royal couple in Tonga on Friday morning  
The two children were part of an official welcome party meeting the royal couple in Tonga on Friday morning  
The royal couple were also greeted by children holding up the Union Jack and the Tongan flag 
The royal couple were also greeted by children holding up the Union Jack and the Tongan flag 
The couple have now departed for Sydney, where they will attend the Australian Geographic Society Awards on Friday night.
The next day, the royals will watch the Invictus Games wheelchair basketball final and then the closing ceremony of the Games which were started by Prince Harry.  
Tonga is the third country the royals have visited on their first tour as a married couple, after travelling to Australia and Fiji.  

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