Days after the tragic attacks at a pair of mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, emotional tributes to the 50 innocent victims and messages of support are still pouring in from around the world.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were the latest to pay their respects, as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visited a memorial at London’s New Zealand House.
The pair visited on behalf of the royal family, brought a pair of bouquets, and left messages in a book of condolence for the victims.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex signed the Book of Condolence @NZinUK, opened following the terrorist attacks in Christchurch.— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) March 19, 2019
The Duke and Duchess signed the book on behalf of the @RoyalFamily — Their Royal Highnesses visited New Zealand in October 2018. pic.twitter.com/AzdsmnoS11
The Daily Mail reported that Queen Elizabeth personally requested for the couple to make the visit, because they share a special connection with New Zealand and recently visited the country.
"Our deepest condolences," the couple wrote. "We are with you." They signed the message with "Arohanui," a phrase that means "with deep affection" in the language of New Zealand’s indigenous Maori people.
Harry and Meghan also greeted New Zealand High Commissioner Sir Jerry Mateparae at the memorial with a hongi, a traditional Maori greeting involving touching noses.
When asked about their connection to New Zealand, Harry told the BBC, "It’s just very sad."
Meghan also reportedly said she was "devastated" to hear of last week's events.
It was a rare unscheduled public appearance for the duchess, who is meant to be resting as she prepares for the birth of her first child next month.
Meghan stepped out in a somber, full-length black coat, while the prince sported a navy blue suit. Meghan also wore a pair of earrings with a special meaning: they were gifts from New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Along with the Queen's tribute to the shooting victims and emergency workers, Harry and Meghan issued a statement of sympathy on Twitter after the March 15 attacks.
"Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the people who lost their lives in the devastating attack in Christchurch," they wrote. "We send our thoughts and prayers to everyone in New Zealand today."
The royal couple ended their message with "Kia Kaha," another Maori phrase meaning "stay strong."
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“Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the people who lost their lives in the devastating attack in Christchurch. We have all been fortunate to spend time in Christchurch and have felt the warm, open-hearted and generous spirit that is core to its remarkable people. No person should ever have to fear attending a sacred place of worship. This senseless attack is an affront to the people of Christchurch and New Zealand, and the broader Muslim community. It is a horrifying assault on a way of life that embodies decency, community, and friendship. We know that from this devastation and deep mourning, the people of New Zealand will unite to show that such evil can never defeat compassion and tolerance. We send our thoughts and prayers to everyone in New Zealand today. Kia Kaha.” — The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The couple were in New Zealand last October for a 16-day trip through four South Pacific countries that also included stops in Australia, Tonga, and Fiji. It was a special time for the couple, as Meghan showed off her baby bump for the first time following the announcement that she was pregnant.
Prince Harry also visited Christchurch in 2015 to learn about the city’s recovery after it was struck by an earthquake in 2011.