The special meaning behind New Zealand's pregnant prime minister Jacinda Ardern's Buckingham Palace look

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arrives at Buckingham Palace in a traditional Māori cloak. (Photo: Getty Images)

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand  made a statement as she arrived at Buckingham Palace on Thursday to meet Queen Elizabeth II and other world leaders at one of this week’s Commonwealth events. The 37-year-old is a great source of pride for New Zealand, as the world’s youngest female leader and one of very few women who will give birth while leading a country. Arden, who is expecting her first child in June, delighted her fellow New Zealanders when she was pictured wearing a traditional Māori cloak.

The coat, also known as a korowai, is a traditional garment associated with New Zealand’s indigenous people that confers respect and power. The significance of the cloak, which is adorned with feathers, draws on the association of birds as messengers from the spiritual realm, according to the Museum of New Zealand. Its appearance in the international arena was greeted enthusiastically online. 

The korowai worn by Arden was loaned to her by the Ngati Ranana London Maori Club, which aims to provide New Zealanders living in the United Kingdom with an opportunity to become involved in their home country’s indigenous culture. As it turns out, it’s not the first time that this very garment has been presented to the Queen. In early March, for the Commonwealth Day Service in Westminster Abbey, Queen Elizabeth II welcomed the club’s honorary president, Whaea Esther Jessop, who was wearing the same cloak at the time.

Whaea Esther Jessop stands to the left of the singer Liam Payne, of One Direction, as the Queen welcomes her guests to Westminster Abbey. (Photo: Getty Images)

Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:

Sen. Tammy Duckworth makes history by bringing her newborn child onto the Senate floor
Kate Middleton can’t get enough of this blue maternity dress
Mother’s day gifts first-time moms will actually use

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.