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Harry and Meghan receive gorgeous Royal welcome to Tonga

royals 26/10/2018

It's Tonga's turn to host the royals - and already there are echoes of Queen Elizabeth and the Duke's visit back in 1953.

It was a meeting of monarchies on the tarmac in Nuku'alofa on Thursday afternoon - the Duchess Meghan Markle donned in Tongan royal red.

Flanked by Prince Harry, they were greeted by Tonga's own princess Angelika Latufuipeka, along with other dignitaries.

The Royal entourage made their way, red carpet-style, into a VIP area before their convoy headed into town.

During the Queen's first visit to Tonga in 1953, children lined the streets - and on Thursday the Duke and Duchess got the same treatment.

Student Meleane Minoneti said she hoped "they will be happy that we are able to show them our appreciation and love."

Lady Amelia Vahai has a once in a lifetime opportunity to dine with the royal couple tonight.

And her six-year-old Fusipala Vahai, the granddaughter of the late Tongan Princess Fusipala, has just found out she'll also play a special role in proceeding's tomorrow.

"For Fusipala, there will be an event here at the convention centre, and she'll be presenting the bouquet to the Duchess. I think she's very excited."

Preparations for the visit have involved weeks of intricate work - the decoration of vast tapa cloths to be laid on the road have literally involved entire villages.

Veitongo Village Resident Feleti Tuikolovatu said "about 50 people, women, they make one tapa in one week".

Church caretaker Losa Taholo said the Tongan people worked hard to decorate and prepare for the visit.

"We always work hard. We always work hard... for the royal couple."

Commemorative plaques are ready to be unveiled in the royal couple's honour - even if the surrounding concrete hasn't quite set.

Regardless, this is a huge occasion for the Kingdom - a meeting of royalty and a moment to remember for Tongans and British alike.

Meghan and Harry had a private dinner with Tonga's King and Queen on Thursday night.

Newshub.

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