Prince William given Maori greeting in New Zealand – BBC News

Prince William greeted the New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden, with a traditional Maori greeting called the Hongi

Prince William shared in a traditional Maori greeting with New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden

The Duke of Cambridge received a traditional Maori greeting from New Zealand’s prime minister as he began his two-day tour of the country.

Prince William performed a hongi with Jacinda Ardern as he was welcomed in Auckland at the start of the trip.

His tour began with a service for Anzac Day, which commemorates the military veterans of Australia and New Zealand.

He is to meet survivors of March’s Christchurch mosque attacks – where 50 people died – and their families.

Earlier, the duke met some of the officers and medics who were among the first at the scene of the shootings, some of whom arrived just minutes after the first shots were fired.

Prince William meets with the first responders to the scene of the Christchurch mosques massacrePrince William met some of the first responders to the Christchurch mosque attacks during a visit to city’s Justice and Emergency Services Precinct
Prince William meets with key operations police staff and St Johns ambulance staff during his visit to the Justice and Emergency Services Precinct in ChristchurchAFP/GETTY IMAGES

During the visit, Prince William asked officers and medics about how they had put their training into practice.

“Nothing really trains you for seeing it in real life”, concluded the duke, who spent time as a pilot with the air ambulance service in East Anglia.

“I’m sure the team pulls together,” he said.

Prince William is travelling on behalf of the Queen at the request of Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister.

Ms Ardern said the prince’s visit would “bring comfort” as the duke had a “close connection” with New Zealand and Christchurch in particular.

“His visit provides the opportunity to pay tribute to those affected by the mosque terrorist attacks and show support to the local and national community,” she said.

William offered prayers for the Christchurch community and described the attacks as a “cruel nightmare”.

Prince William laid a wreath at the ANZAC Day Civic Service at the Auckland War Memorial MuseumGETTY IMAGES

Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac) in World War One.

The duke’s wife, Catherine, will attend an Anzac Day memorial service at Westminster Abbey in London.

The Duke singing a rendition of the hymn Abide With Me, with parts of it sung in the Maori language.The duke sang a rendition of the hymn Abide With Me, with parts of it sung in the Maori language

Kensington Palace said Prince William would “pay tribute to the extraordinary compassion and solidarity” displayed by New Zealanders following the attacks.

It is not the first time that the duke has visited Christchurch in the wake of a tragedy.

In 2011, he attended a memorial service after an earthquake killed 185 people.

In a speech that day, he said: “My grandmother once said that grief is the price we pay for love. Here today, we love and we grieve.”

The Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge also visited New Zealand in 2014, on their first official tour with Prince George, then nine months old.

Source: Prince William given Maori greeting in New Zealand – BBC News

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