Heritage

The Royal Family Sends Condolences to the Families and Victims of the New Zealand Shootings

"No person should ever have to fear attending a sacred place of worship."
IMAGE SIMON DAWSON / GETTY IMAGES
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News broke this morning that two mosques in New Zealand had been attacked by a gunman. According to the New York Times, 41 people were killed, and 48 more are in treatment at a hospital. The country's prime minister has called the shootings "an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence."

Condolences have been pouring in from around the world in the wake of the attacks. For their part, members of the royal family were quick to issue messages of sympathy. Queen Elizabeth's was released first, in which she declared that "At this tragic time, my thoughts and prayers are with all New Zealanders." Read her words in full below.

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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.

About an hour later, Prince Charles released his sympathies, writing that "This appalling atrocity is an assault on all of us who cherish religious freedom, tolerance, compassion and community." His full message is below.

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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.

HRH The Prince of Wales

Not long after, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Kate Middleton, and Prince William released a joint statement. (Although Harry and Meghan will soon have their own royal staff, at the moment they share one with Will and Kate.) They affirmed that "No person should ever have to fear attending a sacred place of worship," and signed the message "Kia Kaha," a M?ori phrase that roughly translates to "stay strong."

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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.

Kia Kaha.

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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