Prince William given Maori greeting in New Zealand

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The Duke of Cambridge was greeted with a traditional Maori nose rub from New Zealand’s prime minister as he began his two-day tour of the country.

Prince William performed a hongi with Jacinda Ardern as he was welcomed in Auckland at the start of the trip.

His tour began with a service for Anzac Day, which commemorates the military veterans of Australia and New Zealand.

He is to meet survivors of March’s Christchurch mosque attacks – where 50 people died – and their families.

The duke is also expected to visit emergency services personnel and Muslim community leaders.

Prince William is travelling on behalf of the Queen at the request of Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister.

Ms Ardern said the prince’s visit will “bring comfort” as the duke has a “close connection” with New Zealand and Christchurch in particular.

“His visit provides the opportunity to pay tribute to those affected by the mosque terrorist attacks and show support to the local and national community,” she said.

William offered up prayers for the Christchurch community and described the attacks as a “cruel nightmare”.

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Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac) in World War One.

The duke’s wife, Catherine, will attend an Anzac Day memorial service at Westminster Abbey in London.

Kensington Palace said Prince William would “pay tribute to the extraordinary compassion and solidarity” displayed by New Zealanders following the attacks.

It is not the first time that the duke has visited Christchurch in the wake of a tragedy.

In 2011, he attended a memorial service after an earthquake killed 185 people.

In a speech that day, he said: “My grandmother once said that grief is the price we pay for love. Here, today, we love, and we grieve.”

The Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge also visited New Zealand in 2014, on their first official tour with Prince George, then nine months old.



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