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The Duchess of Cornwall opts for the personal touch with Maori greeting

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The Duchess of Cornwall eschewed royal protocol this week when she welcomed a New Zealander with the famous Maori greeting known as Hongi.Camilla pressed noses with Kiwi performance artist Rosanna Raymond as she and The Prince of Wales hosted a reception for leading Antipodeans who have made their home in Britain.



The festivities were held to mark New Zealand's Waitangi Day. The annual holiday commemorates the Treaty of Waitangi, a founding document similar to the UK's Magna Carta. Tradition was the theme of the day, and Rosanna embraced her multi-ethnic roots with Maori tattoos and a Tuvalu floral headpiece similar to the ones that Kate Middleton and Prince William wore when they visited the Commonwealth country as part of their Diamond Jubilee tour last year.

Her outfit certainly impressed, and so did Camilla's nod to her culture. "I thought The Duchess did very well," she said of their greeting. "It was done properly; it was a real sharing of breath - with the sharing of breath you become as one, so it was a beautiful gesture." 

Rosanna revealed that the Duchess wasn't the only participant, adding: "The Prince also brought up it was Waitangi Day and that's when he did the hongi and I thought 'how wonderful'".Also among the guests at the Clarence House reception were a whole roster of prominent New Zealanders and Australians.Fashion consultant Yasmin Sewell, Kiwi chef and restaurateur Peter Gordon and Sir Mark Todd, an equestrian double Olympic gold medallist, also met with Prince Charles and his wife.

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