Wearing all black and walking hand-in-hand, the couple made a surprise visit to New Zealand House in London on Tuesday afternoon to sign a book of condolences for the victims of Friday’s terrorist attack in Christchurch, where 50 people died and dozens more were injured after a gunman opened fire on two mosques. A 28-year-old man has since been charged with murder.
Meghan wrote: “Our deepest condolences. We are with you.” Harry signed his name with “Arohanui,” which is Maori for “best wishes.”
The couple arrived and were greeted with a hongi, the traditional nose rub, by High Commissioner Sir Jerry Mateparae and Deputy High Commissioner David Evans. Harry and Meghan were asked to represent the royal family because they are the most recent royal visitors to New Zealand.
Meghan wore special jewellery for the occasion: the gold Boh Runga Discologo stud earrings which were given to her as a gift from New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during the couple’s royal tour. According to the brand’s website, “in Māori mythology, the Miromiro feather was a magic token of devotion that would bring loved ones back to you.”
On Friday, Kensington Palace issued a joint statement on behalf of Prince William, Kate Middleton, Harry, and Meghan, where the royal couples referred to the “senseless attacks” as a “horrifying assault on a way of life that embodies decency, community, and friendship.”
“Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the people who lost their lives in the devastating attack in Christchurch,” the lengthy statement began, alongside a photo of the New Zealand flag.
“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,” they wrote. “No person should ever have to fear attending a sacred place of worship.”
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