Meeting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Wellington was a great experience for Dannevirke's Paddy Driver.
Driver, the vice president of the East Coast RSA and the Tararua District Council's resilience manager, met the royal couple at the Hall of Memories, the commemorative chapel of the Pukeahu National War Memorial, soon after Harry and Meghan arrived in New Zealand on Sunday.
Organised by the RSA, Prince Harry was presented with the Badge in Gold, New Zealand's highest honour given in recognition of his work with injured veterans.
The badge, presented by RSA national president B J Clark, was pinned to the Prince's jacket by the Duchess.
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Driver, a Vietnam veteran who enlisted in the New Zealand Army when he was 19 and went on to be a member Victor Three Company, an infantry unit, said meeting the royal couple is an experience he'll never forget.
"Prince Harry looked me in the eye and said, 'gidday Paddy'. He's a genuine guy and when he spoke to me it was as if he'd known me all his life," he said.
"We also met the Duchess and the couple really impressed the hell out of me. They were a great couple."