Behind the making of Meghan Markle's Māori cloak

The Duke and Duchess will likely have needed to increase their baggage allowance with all the gifts they'll be taking home with them.

Among the treasures are the Māori cloaks gifted to them in Rotorua. Traditional Māori weaving is an art.

Ngāti Whakaue elder Norma Sturley learned as a child. Now she's passing on the skill to her niece.

Each Korowai, cloak, takes hundreds of hours to make.  So when Ms Sturley had two months' notice to make one for the Duchess of Sussex she had her work cut out.

"One row would probably take a hour and a on that korowai there are close to 500 strands, so you can imagine how long it took to do just one row," she said.

Just the design took a week, while husband Terry cut the flax, stripping it with a mussel shell to get the fibre out and preparing it for weaving.

They worked around the clock to get it finished so it could be gifted by Ngāti Whakaue on behalf of the Te Arawa people.

"It was to acknowledge her status and her marriage into the royal family," Ms Sturley said. "The colours I used were the royal colours taken from Meghan's crest that she created."

The gold represented the California sunshine, the blue, the Pacific Ocean, the red, royalty.  The tāniko weave design showed the joining of two cultures.

"Local iwi say that Meghan is a role model for Maori, showing that you can succeed while also celebrating your heritage, and that her presence makes them feel closer to the Monarchy," Ms Sturley said.

Something Ms Sturley, married to an Englishman for almost 50 years, relates to.

"The joining of two cultures, I think that's a fantastic thing just image those beautiful children that she's going to have," she said.

This one cloaked in strength, warmth and love.