Meghan Markle rubs noses with guests as she practises traditional Māori greeting ahead of royal tour

Danielle Stacey
Royal Correspondent
The Duchess of Sussex receives a Hongi, a traditional Maori greeting, as she attends the opening of Oceania at the Royal Academy of Arts in London (PA)

The Duchess of Sussex practised a hongi, the traditional greeting of New Zeland’s Mãori people, ahead of her and the Duke’s royal tour next month.

Meghan was all smiles as she was welcomed by guests with a nose rub – known as a hongi – at the opening of the Oceania exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts.

The Duchess toured artwork and exhibits from regions, including Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga – countries on their itinerary for her overseas trip. The couple will follow in the footsteps of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who visited in 2014.

 During the evening reception, Meghan spoke to some of the artists as well as descendants linked to the works on display. It is the first-ever major survey of Oceanic art to be held in the UK.

The engagement was also Meghan’s first solo outing as a member of the royal family, ticking off another step for her foray into the Firm.

Last week saw the launch of her first charity project – a cookbook to support the Hubb Community Kitchen, whose lives have been affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

On Monday, the Duke and Duchess attended the Coach Core awards at Loughborough University, where they met with some of the graduates of the sports scheme, which aims to give young people, aged 16-24, the chance to become the next generation of inspirational coaches.

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