The Duke of Sussex showed his language skills are as sharp as his sense of humour as he addressed a reception in six languages.
Harry, addressing an audience of young people at a reception in New Zealand, offered his greetings in a few words of six languages: Samoan, Tongan, Fijian, Niuean, Cook Islands, and Maori.
After rattling off Talofa lava (Samoan), Malo e lelei (Tongan), Bula Vinaka (Fijian), Fakaalofa lahi atu (Niuean), Kia orana (Cook Islands) and Tena koutou katoa (Maori), Harry was applauded by the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Duchess of Sussex.
He said: “This is definitely the first time I have spoken most of those languages, so I apologise if my accent wasn’t any good, but I had to give it a go.”
The reception was aimed at celebrating Pacific cultures, with singing, dancing and conversation with young people working to lead their communities.
The duke also used his speech to joke about his morning’s work welly wanging, which saw him narrowly beaten by his wife.
“We’re meeting little Kiwis, we’re meeting big Kiwis, being treated to your fantastic food, culture and sporting activities – well, if you can call welly-wanging or gum-boot throwing a sport,” he said.
“Perhaps we should have a three-test series and see who comes out on top?”
Jacinda Ardern, introducing the royal couple, told an audience at the Auckland War Memorial Museum: “You all probably think you’re here to meet our wonderful esteemed guests. But I’m sure Their Royal Highnesses won’t mind me saying this: they’re actually here to meet all of you.”
She added: “Thank you for the warmth you have brought to your visit. Thank you for bringing such a genuine interest and focus on issues like mental health.”
The couple watched an energetic performance from dancers SaintzUp and singers Tone6, with Harry nodding his head and tapping his foot as he got into the Polynesian rhythm.
As they gave the performers a rapturous round of applause, young people aged 17-25 were arranged into small groups so they could come and mingle.
The Duke told them: “You guys are amazing”, while Meghan asked: “What issues are you working on?”
Hearing about their concerns about the environment, diversity and mental health, the duke, who is now a commonwealth youth ambassador, told them he hoped to “make people more aware of some of the issues that matter to you guys”.
Encouraging them to continue speaking out for their generation, he said: “This energy, this connectivity, it’s all here in you.”
The duchess listened closely to a group from charity Inspiring Stories, as young women spoke to her about empowering indigenous minorities, getting young people involved in politics, and mental health.