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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 16 November 2018

Meghan and Harry's junket Down Under not rattled by earthquake

A tremor struck New Zealand while the royal couple were on tour but it was not enough to disrupt the trip

Rain, wind and even an earthquake did not dampen the enthusiasm of New Zealanders who turned out to see Prince Harry and wife Meghan toss gumboots around on Tuesday.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex took part in a welly-wanging competition with local youngsters, then met with people in Auckland during a walkabout on the penultimate day of the couple's South Pacific tour.

Hannah Sergel was overjoyed after the Duchess stopped to hug her. The New Zealander said she travelled from Christchurch for the event and had followed the duchess on Instagram before the royal had to deactivate her account.

"It means the world to me," Ms Sergel said. "I am so shaky and flustered. When I first saw her I cried."

People got rained upon waiting for the couple but the showers stopped during the royal walkabout.

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Read more:

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry arrive in New Zealand

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in Tonga's national dress

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry honour 'Fijian Rambo'

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The couple were visiting the head office of the charity Pillars in Auckland when a strong-but-deep earthquake struck the central North Island. There were no reports of major damage or injuries after the magnitude 6.1 quake.

Many thousands of people across the country felt the quake, although those attending the event with the royals said they did not feel it there.

The couple finish their 16-day tour on Wednesday. They arrived in New Zealand on Sunday after earlier visiting Australia, Fiji and Tonga.

Prince Harry is scheduled to give a speech on Tuesday night during a reception at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, and on Wednesday the couple are scheduled to visit a hatchery for the national bird, the kiwi.

New Zealand Post has marked the couple's visit with a special issue of commemorative stamps.

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