Jacinda Ardern's 'secret meeting' with Duchess Meghan Markle during UK trip

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has reportedly met in secret with the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle during her UK visit.

ABC news royal correspondent Omid Scobie wrote on Twitter earlier today that Ms Ardern had a private meeting at Kensington Palace in-between government appointments.

Mr Scobie said he spoke with Ms Ardern, who praised the royal couple, saying "they really care about the work they do, they take their service seriously and I have a lot of respect for that".

Ms Ardern held talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday, aiming to secure a post-Brexit trade agreement.

She posted an image to Instagram saying that the New Zealand and the UK had signed a "mutual recognition agreement" meaning whatever happens with Brexit, New Zealand businesses will have continuity between the EU and the UK.

Mr Scobie said a source had told him that Meghan Markle was happy to meet with Ms Ardern following her visit to New Zealand with husband Prince Harry last year.

"Meghan, says a source, 'was pleased to have the chance to thank the PM for the wonderful hospitality [she and Harry] received from the people of New Zealand last year.'"

The royals were in New Zealand in late October last year, and met with Ms Ardern during the visit.