Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Pay Tribute to the 50 People Who Died in the New Zealand Mass Shooting
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry visited New Zealand House in London, England on Tuesday to pay their respects to the 50 fallen victims who were lost in the Christchurch mass shooting.
The couple arrived holding hands, Markle in all black and wearing the gold Boh Runga Discologo stud earrings that were given to her as a gift from New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during her and Harry’s royal tour (in Māori mythology, the Miromiro feather is said to possess magic that brings back lost loved ones) and Prince Harry in navy blue. Markle was greeted by High Commissioner Sir Jerry Mateparae and Deputy High Commissioner David Evans with a hongi, a traditional nose rub, reports People. Markle and Harry were called upon to represent the royal family since they are the most recent royals to visit New Zealand.
Harry laid a bouquet of flowers outside and Markle wrote a note in the book of condolences.
“Our deepest condolences. We are with you,” she wrote.
Harry wrote below his wife’s message: “Arohanui,” which means “best wishes” in Māori.
The New Zealand terror attack
The attack that took place on Friday, March 15, at two mosques in the city of Christchurch is considered the deadliest mass shooting in the country’s history.
“The terrorist attack appeared to have been carried out by a white nationalist who posted a racist manifesto online and streamed live video of the killings on Facebook,” reports The New York Times.
The man accused of the attack is expected to represent himself in court.
Ardern has sworn off using the attacker’s name, in an effort to deny him “the attention he craves,” and she implores others to do the same.
“He is a terrorist. He is a criminal. He is an extremist,” Ardern said in an address to Parliament. “But he will, when I speak, be nameless.”
Already, Ardern has promised to change New Zealand’s gun laws in response to the attack, reports TNYT.
The royal family’s response
New Zealand is a special place for the royal family. Markle and Harry were just there in 2018 as part of their 16-day Royal Tour. The last time the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Christchurch was in 2014.
To pay their respects the two royal couples released a statement on Instagram.
“‘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.” read the statement.
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