Wil­lie’s right royal hongi

Sunday News - - NEWS -

HE might have just been ex­pect­ing to ex­change a few old war sto­ries, but Wil­lie Api­ata was never go­ing to let Prince Harry get off that lightly.

The Vic­to­ria Cross hero seized the op­por­tu­nity to hongi Prince Harry when the pair caught up at the In­vic­tus Games in Canada yes­ter­day.

The New Zealand De­fence Force tweeted a photo of the greet­ing be­tween the two dur­ing the morn­ing and the post quickly gained more than 80 retweets.

The de­fence force also tweeted a photo of Prince Harry meet­ing team coach Pa­trick Pradel, when they shared a laugh about a kiwi on the top of Pradel’s hat

It’s not the first time Prince Harry has ex­pe­ri­enced a hongi. Two years ago, 24-year-old Ohine­mataroa Iti-Kere­opa gave him one of his first hongi as he was wel­comed to Wellington dur­ing the of­fi­cial powhiri at Gov­ern­ment House.

The In­vic­tus Games, first started in 2014, were cre­ated by Prince Harry as an in­ter­na­tional Par­a­lympic-style multi-sport event for wounded, in­jured or sick armed ser­vices per­son­nel and vet­er­ans, with the cur­rent games be­ing held in Toronto.

Prince Harry also met par­tic­i­pants Ihaka Matairangi, Nicki Fair­bairn, Koro Hati and coach Matt Van­gioni.

The De­fence Force is on its way to their most suc­cess­ful In­vic­tus Games yet, with a medal tally of 10, in­clud­ing sev­eral golds.

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