Last Friday, the tragic massacre at two separate New Zealand mosques in Christchurch shocked and horrified the world. Fifty innocent people lost their lives while simply practicing their religion and the surrounding community lost their sense of safety. In the wake of the tragedy, Christchurch has received an outpouring of support from around the world. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made a surprise visit to the area on Tuesday to pay their respects, according to Harper’s Bazaar.
The Duchess of Sussex was dressed in a simple black coat and black pumps when she stopped by New Zealand House walking hand in hand with Prince Harry. She was also adorned in a pair of Boh Runga earrings, accent pieces that she chose with a special intention. It was these same earrings that New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern gifted Markle during a previous visit.
Upon their arrival, the royal couple was graciously welcomed by High Commissioner Sir Jerry Mateparae and Deputy High Commissioner David Evans. Markle carried a bouquet of white flowers which she later placed at the public memorial set in place for the victims of the terror attack. The Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry had already met with New Zealand officials at the end of 2018 when they toured the country and met with political leaders.
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited New Zealand House in London, where they signed the Book of Condolence opened following the terrorist attacks in Christchurch. The Duke and Duchess signed the book on behalf of @TheRoyalFamily — Their Royal Highnesses visited New Zealand in October 2018. ????PA
The pair each signed a book of condolences for the family members who lost loved ones, each of them including a personal inscription.
“Our deepest condolences… we are with you,” Markle wrote. Prince Harry included the word “Arohanui,” which means “with deep affection.”
Following the vicious attack, the royal pair came together with Kate Middleton and Prince William to issue a joint statement expressing their condolences. They spoke of the sense of welcome they have received from the Christchurch community during their past visits to the area and emphasized that no one should feel unsafe in their place of worship.
“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.”
A 28-year-old Australian man has been identified as the shooter has been taken into custody.