Prince William: New Zealand witnessed one of the worst attacks in recent times when a lone gunman shot and killed 50 persons in two Christchurch mosques. It happened six weeks back and the Duke of Cambridge arrived in the city to attend the Anzac commemorations. He chose this opportunity to meet with survivors of the attacks, share their grief and pay his respects to the dead. It was labeled as one of the worst attacks in the country’s modern history.

Recently, there were other incidents of violence in hotels and churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, which could have links with the mosque shootings in Christchurch.

The Guardian reports that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern joined Prince William at Anzac commemorations in New Zealand. They attended a service in Auckland before proceeding to Christchurch to meet some of those who were lucky to have survived.

The security was on high alert and the Prime Minister reminded people that “the day was an important reminder to recommit to simple values and not take life – or peace – for granted.”

William was in New Zealand earlier

Prince William is not new to Christchurch.

He went there after the earthquake in 2011 in which 185 people lost their lives. His present visit is for two days only and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern feels his very presence would help rebuild the morale of the people. The Prince attended the Auckland Anzac service with the prime minister and then arrived in Christchurch. Here he met and interacted with those who escaped from the terror attacks and their families.

The Guardian says he met others who were associated with the tragedies. In such a situation, when one is stuck for words to express one's grief and feelings, the mere presence of a man like Prince William can have a soothing effect on those who faced the tragedy.

Very little is known about his itinerary in the city because of security reasons. There were hardly any crowds on the roads and the festive atmosphere one normally sees during any royal visit was absent.

Prince William in a different role

According to BBC, the Duke of Cambridge began his New Zealand visit from Auckland. The first item on his list was a service for Anzac Day. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac) in World War One and is to commemorate the military veterans of the two countries.

Later he went to Christchurch to meet survivors of the mosque attacks that killed 50 people. He also met the families of those who lost their lives in the attacks apart from some members of the medical teams that arrived within minutes of the shootings.

Prince William went at the request of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and is representing the Queen. The prime minister feels the visit would comfort the people because he has close links with the country, especially Christchurch. The Prince described the attacks as a "cruel nightmare." Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, will attend an Anzac Day memorial service at Westminster Abbey in London. The two of them visited New Zealand in 2014 during their first official tour. Prince George was at the time just nine months old.

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