Following a devastating attack on two mosques in New Zealand, The Queen and other Royals have sent the country their condolences.
Two shootings took place in mosques in Christchurch, when locals were attending Friday prayers. A man in his late 20s was charged with murder, while two other men and one woman were detained nearby and their firearms seized. 49 people have been confirmed dead.
Her Majesty, who is New Zealand’s Queen, sent a message this morning to the Governor General, who is her representative there. She spoke of being ‘deeply saddened by the appalling events’.
“I have been deeply saddened by the appalling events in Christchurch today. Prince Philip and I send our condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives.”
“I also pay tribute to the emergency services and volunteers who are providing support to those who have been injured. At this tragic time, my thoughts and prayers are with all New Zealanders. Elizabeth R.”
Prince Charles’ message also came this morning saying he and Camilla were ‘utterly horrified’ by the act of terrorism.
“Both my wife and I were utterly horrified to hear of the most barbaric attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, which resulted in the cruel and tragic loss of so many people’s lives. It is beyond all belief that so many should have been killed and injured at their place of worship and our most special and heartfelt sympathy goes out to all the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives.
“This appalling atrocity is an assault on all of us who cherish religious freedom, tolerance, compassion and community. I know that the people of New Zealand will never allow hate and division to triumph over these things they hold dear. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families, the first responders, the people of Christchurch and all New Zealanders at this most heartbreaking of times.”
A joint statement was released by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Prince Harry and Meghan were only in the country in October.
“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.”
It ended with ‘Kia Kaha’, a Maori phrase that translates as ‘stay strong.’
Jacinda Ardern, the NZ Prime Minister, described the killings as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”, adding: “What has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.”