As it happened: Auckland visit for royal couple Meghan Markle, Prince Harry

It's day three of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's New Zealand tour, and today they're in Auckland with a jam-packed schedule.

On Tuesday morning they kicked things off with some 'welly wanging' at North Shore Riding Club and planted two trees for the Commonwealth Canopy.

They'll soon visit Pillars, a charity working with children whose parents are in prison.

Later there'll be a public walkabout at Wynyard Quarter and the Auckland Viaduct, before Harry and Meghan head to Auckland War Memorial Museum for a reception.

These live updates have now finished.

4.53pm - So that's the crowd-greeting part of the day done for Harry and Meghan, next up it's a function at Auckland Museum tonight at 7pm.  

4.47pm - And that’s it, to screams of 'Harry' and 'Meghan' the royal pair shook hands with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and headed off in their car. 

As it happened: Auckland visit for royal couple Meghan Markle, Prince Harry
Photo credit: Newshub

4.42pm - The crowd is getting their money worth from Harry and Meghan, who have pretty much shaken every and that has been extended out.  

As it happened: Auckland visit for royal couple Meghan Markle, Prince Harry
Photo credit: Newshub

4.29pm - There is a cacophony of screams as the royals make their way down the line. They seem relaxed and enjoying themselves.

Harry has just accepted a gift from a young girl. Both are taking their time to read the many handwritten signs that line the route.

4.27pm - A brass band put together by The Edge radio station is playing the theme song to Suits as the royals go by. 

4.23pm- Cheers erupted from the crowd - but not for the royals. It was for the construction workers who are watching on from a building site up above.

As it happened: Auckland visit for royal couple Meghan Markle, Prince Harry
Photo credit: Newshub
As it happened: Auckland visit for royal couple Meghan Markle, Prince Harry
Photo credit: Newshub

4.21pm - Judy, 77, told Newshub she snuck her 7-year-old grandson Mitchell out of school to see Meghan and Harry.

She’s seen the Queen, the Queen Mother and Charles, but never Prince Harry or William.

She can’t wait to get a glimpse of Meghan and Harry, and is holding is spot in line despite her young relative needing both food and the bathroom.

4.19pm: Harry and Meghan are taking their time to chat to as many people as they can. It's a sea of phones being held up as they approach. 

4.15pm: The Royal couple has arrived and are making their way down the long line of people waiting to see them.  

Auckland mayor Phill Goff is with them as well as some burly looking security guards. 

4.05pm - Sadly the good weather hasn’t turned up, it's an overcast Auckland day. The overcast day and earlier rain hasn’t deterred hundreds of Royal supporters who are waiting for the couple.

3.55pm - The crowds have gathered at Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour to greet Harry and Meghan

As it happened: Auckland visit for royal couple Meghan Markle, Prince Harry
Photo credit: Newshub

3:38pm - The crowd is led in a waiata - 'Whakaaria Mai' - as the royal couple and Prime Minister leave the building.

3:34pm - Meghan Markle is presenting awards to four Pillars mentees.

The winners were chosen for their achievements in sports, community, music, academia, and leadership.

3:25pm - Harry is speaking to a crowd at Pillars.

"Through the work of organisations like Pillars and the awards being presented today, children can now have stability in times of turmoil, support of relationships around them, and a positive vision of their future.

"You are outstanding young people, and I know you will use this opportunity to create outstanding futures for yourselves and to act as role models for others in your communities. To all of the Pillars community, thank you - again, we couldn't be happier to support such fantastic work. Kia kaha."

3:12pm - Meghan, Harry and the PM meet and shake hands with some of the Pillars mentors and children.

Pillars was the charity chosen by the Government to receive $5000 as a the present for Meghan and Harry's wedding.

2:52pm - The couple have arrived at Pillars with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

2:30pm - After the gumboot toss Harry and Meghan exercised their green thumbs, Harry planting a puriri tree, and Meghan a kōwhai.

Kōwhai flowers are known for their bright yellow colour, hence the name, kōwhai meaning yellow in te reo Māori. New Zealand was represented with a kōwhai flower on the Duchess' veil at her wedding.

1:02pm - That's it on the gumboots, next up Harry and Meghan will be meeting representatives of the charity Pillars.

The Manukau based charity helps support children affected by having a parent in prison.

12:41pm - Both Harry and Meghan have been presented with a pounamu. Meghan also walks away with a trophy from winning the toss.

12:33pm - Meghan's team is victorious, but Prince Harry says there will be a rematch next time the couple is in NZ. 

Harry and Meghan.
Photo credit: Newshub.

12:30pm - The tossing is about to begin. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are lining up with some other competitors to throw the gumboots.

12:25 - Prince Harry says both he and Meghan are delighted to be at the opening of the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy and the rain is a blessing.

"The sooner we fully appreciate our surroundings and how interconnected we all are the better," he said.

12:20pm - There's a few speeches before the gumboots begin flying. Judy Beaven from the North Shore Riding Club said she loves riding everyday on her horse called Harry. The crowd laughed and clapped.

12:11pm - Crisis averted! The call has been made to carry on despite the rain.

Meghan and Harry.
Photo credit: Newshub.

12:10pm - Dozens of umbrellas have appeared to cover the royals as it begins pelting down with rain. It looks like the event may be called off altogether as the rain becomes torrential.

12:00pm - The rain has paused momentarily as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle get ready to toss gumboots on the North Shore.

The couple have just arrived to begin throwing the boots.

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