The Duke and Duchess visited New Zealand House in London this afternoon. They were there to offer condolences and pay their respects to those killed in the Christchurch terrorist attacks last Friday.
Fifty people were killed and another fifty injured in the shootings at two different mosques in Christchurch.
Below, the Duke shares a hongi, the traditional Māori greeting, with the New Zealand High Commissioner, Sir Jerry Mateparae.
Then Meghan was welcomed.
The Duchess read messages on flowers left by others before she and Harry left their bouquets.
Harry rests his flowers with the others.
The couple was asked to make the official visit by the Queen because they were the royal family members who most recently visited the country. Below, Meghan and Harry in Wellington during their October tour.
The pair looking at some of the many bouquets people have left.
More on the flowers from Hannah Furness at The Telegraph.
They both placed hand-tied bouquets of flowers outside the building in central London, adding to the pile of floral tributes which has grown since 50 people were killed after a lone gunman opened fire at two mosques during last week’s Friday prayers.
The Duchess’s featured lily-of-the-valley, hawthorn and ivy, while the Duke’s contained white roses, lisianthus, veronica and ferns.
In this video from Rebecca English you see the couple as they arrive and are greeted by Sir Jerry Mateparae. You can also see both kneel down and add their flowers to the pile amassed at New Zealand House.
The Duke & Duchess of Sussex have made an unannounced visit to New Zealand House in London to pay tribute to the victims of the #ChristchurchTerrorAttack . They will sign a book of condolence & speak to staff. They were asked to go by HM as they were the last royals to visit #NZ pic.twitter.com/KTCHMFvD1W
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) March 19, 2019
Meghan and Harry released a joint statement with the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge condemning the attacks shortly after they happened last Friday.
The statement also spoke of the “warm, open-hearted and generous spirit” the people of New Zealand display. It is signed with the Māori phrase “Kia Kaha,” meaning “stay strong,” or “forever strong.”Below, the Duke and Duchess inside New Zealand House.
Embed from Getty Images
More from The Daily Mail’s coverage:
The duke and duchess met with members of staff at the High Commission to discuss their response to the atrocity.
Meghan said ‘we are with you’, adding she was ‘just devastated’ by the atrocity,
Meghan and Harry also signed the official condolence book. Emily Andrews of The Sun shared a video.
Video: #meghan signs the condolence book. She is wearing earrings that were given to her by @jacindaardern & told staff at NZ House that the PM was “very impressive” in these terrible times. pic.twitter.com/jlrKgtGMOY
— Emily Andrews (@byEmilyAndrews) March 19, 2019
Meghan wrote, “Our deepest condolences. We are with you.”
Embed from Getty Images
Harry signed his name and wrote “Arohanui” meaning ‘much love’ in Māori.
More on the condolence book from the New Zealand High Commission in London:
A condolence book will be available for signing for a limited time at New Zealand House between 11am and 3pm – Tuesday 19 to Thursday 21 March.
Alternatively, we continue to welcome all condolences posted on Facebook and Twitter – please tag us so we collate your messages. We also invite anyone who wishes to leave flowers or messages to do so at the New Zealand Memorial at Hyde Park Corner.
New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs put together a brief video in the wake of the attacks.
The Duke and Duchess as they left New Zealand House.
NOTE: After much discussion we decided today’s post would not include details on Meghan’s outfit. It didn’t feel appropriate to us. There is no right or wrong way to handle this, none at all. For us, it made the most sense to follow our instincts and stick with coverage of the visit itself. The one element we are comfortable mentioning is Meghan’s earrings: she wore the pair given to her by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during the tour. They feature the Miromiro feather; in Māori mythology the feather was a magic token of devotion that would bring loved ones back to you.
To all our friends in New Zealand, there are not adequate words to describe our thoughts. We were saddened and sickened at the news and you remain in our thoughts today. We know everyone in the Meghan blog community shares these sentiments.