The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made an unannounced appearance today, visiting New Zealand House in London to pay their respects in the wake of last week’s Christchurch terror attack.
Fifty people were murdered and many others injured in two mosques Friday, making the attack New Zealand’s deadliest mass shooting.
The Queen requested the couple visit as they were last members of the British Royal Family to visit the country. The Sussexes were in New Zealand last October as part of their first royal tour.
Harry and Meghan were greeted with a Hongi – the traditional Maori greeting where people press their noses together – by High Commissioner Sir Jerry Mateparae and Deputy High Commissioner David Evans.
A pile of bouquets sat outside the building as a memorial to the victims, and the Duke and Duchess both added flowers to the mix before going in to sign a book of condolence.
Meghan wrote, “Our deepest condolences… We are with you” in her distinctive script. Both signed their names underneath, with the Maori word “Arohanui” (which translates to “with deep affection” or “much love” ) in between.
Members of the public can visit New Zealand House to sign the book with their own messages of sympathy until 21 March at 5:30 p.m.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, alongside the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, released a statement sending their support to the people of New Zealand following the attacks.
“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.