As the three walked along the path, meeting and waving to adoring fans, the Duchess of Sussex spotted a familiar face in the crowd.
A video shows the Duchess' jaw-drop as she spots 20-year-old Hannah Sergel, before she says, "Oh my God" and approaches the New Zealander with a huge smile on her face.
Explaining the connection to media afterwards, Sergel revealed she and Meghan used to follow each other on Instagram, prior to her deactivating her accounts.
“I was friends with her on Instagram before she had to deactivate her account. We used to have conversations and stuff on there. She would tell me to do well at university and encourage me to be myself,” she told New Zealand’s 1 NEWS.
Hannah added that it “means the world” to her that Meghan had recognised her.
“I am so shaky and flustered. When I first saw her, I cried,” she said. On Twitter later, Sergel revealed that Ardern had direct messaged her photos of the encounter and that the NZ PM had comforted her because she was "such a mess."