Conserving forests is a simple but effective way to restore and respect the environment, the Duke of Sussex said.

Harry was speaking as he and Meghan, who was wearing a collared Veronica Beard dress, unveiled plaques to commemorate two forest reserves being dedicated to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy Project (QCC).

The QCC is a project which sees countries of the Commonwealth designate areas of indigenous forest to be preserved in perpetuity, with 42 of the 53 member countries already taking part.

Speaking at Tupou College, the duke said: “Tonga is leading by example and understands deeply the impact of environmental changes because they directly affect these islands.

“Planting trees and conserving forests helps us in so many ways.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had earlier visited an exhibition of handicrafts at the Fa'onelua Convention CentreThe Duke and Duchess of Sussex had earlier visited an exhibition of handicrafts at the Fa’onelua Convention Centre (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

“It is a simple but effective way to restore and repair our environment, clean the air, protect habitat and enhance our health and wellbeing.

“We are so very grateful to you for this contribution of the Toloa Forest Reserve and the Eua National Park Forest Reserve.”

During a ceremony which featured hymns, with Harry appearing to sing along to Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer, the duke and duchess smiled at each other.

Harry was then taken on a tour of the forest while the school’s band and pupils continued to sing.