Prince Charles and Camilla console the family of a victim who died in the Christchurch mass shootings on day six of their New Zealand tour – saying ‘our thoughts and prayers have been with you’
- Prince Charles, 71, and Camilla, 72, visited Christchurch Cathedral yesterday
- 51 killed by gunman at Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre on March 15
- On sixth day of New Zealand tour royals met with victims of mass shootings
- Charles told an audience he knew of the ‘terrible anguish’ felt by the community
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visited the damaged Christchurch Cathedral during the sixth day of the royal visit to New Zealand.
Camilla, 72, cut a stylish figure in a cream polka dot dress and coordinating shoes for the occasion – and accessorised with a dainty pearl necklace.
During their emotional visit, the couple were seen consoling the family of a ‘dedicated’ 24-year-old man who died in the Christchurch mass shootings.
Tariq Omar, a keen footballer, was one of 51 people killed in the deadliest mass shooting in New Zealand’s history when a gunman opened fire at the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre.
A further 49 were injured in the attacks on March 15.
Charles, 71, and Camilla were greeted by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern before holding a private meeting with members of the Omar family during a visit to Cashmere High School, with four current or former students of the school killed in the attack.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwalll were greeted by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during a visit to Christchurch Cathedral, on the sixth day of the royal visit to the country
Camilla met Rosemary Omar, who lost her son Tariq in the Christchurch mosque shooting, during a visit to Cashmere High School as she spoke with the family of victims of the Christchurch mosque shooting
The damaged Christchurch Cathedral which was visited by the Prince of Wales during the royal visit to New Zealand
Rosemary Omar, the mother of Tariq, said: ‘From my point of view, it’s just very comforting to know that the Duchess of Cornwall understands how we feel.
‘She’s been very sympathetic and very caring, good advice as well.
Tariq’s sister Qariah, 27, added: ‘She was lovely, she was very heartfelt.
‘Tariq was dedicated, very dedicated to his family, his faith, his sports, his academic studies.’
The Prince of Wales greeted people during a public walk in Christchurch, New Zealand
Prince Charles looked more than happy to engage in conversation and held out his hand as he arrived to meet the family of victims of the Christchurch mosque shooting
The Duchess opted for a cream and polka dot dress for the occasion and accessorised with a dainty pearl necklace. Pictured, greeting people during a public walk in Christchurch
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are photographed in front of the damage Christchurch cathedral
The Prince of Wales was photographed walking alongside New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda during day six of the royal tour
The 71-year-old donned a pair of dark sunglasses as he visited the damaged Christchurch Cathedral
Prince Charles donned a beige suit and smart red tie as he greeted well-wishers in Christchurch
The 27-year-old added that the duchess ‘really took the time to put her energy and love’ into their exchange.
Charles told an audience at Cashmere Public School he knew of the ‘terrible anguish’ felt by the community, referring to the murder of his great-uncle Louis Mountbatten by terrorists in 1979.
‘I can only say how much you have been in our thoughts and prayers over these past months as you have sought to come to terms with the appalling atrocity that was perpetrated on this community,’ the prince said.
‘I believe I may know something, just something perhaps, of the terrible anguish you have suffered having lost my own beloved great-uncle as well as one of my godsons when they were murdered by terrorists some 40 years ago.
‘I can appreciate therefore the intense grief and anger that you have faced and the terrible despair that can result. It seems to me the only possible remedy for such understandable feelings of despair is hope.’
Jacinda Ahern, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Prince of Wales looked animated as they arrived at Cashmere High School to meet with the family of victims of the Christchurch mosque shooting
Jacinda Ahern appeared to be pointing at something in the distance as she lead the Duchess of to meet with victims of the Christchurch mosque shooting
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in the aftermath of the Christchurch attack said it was an ‘act of extreme and unprecedented violence’ on ‘one of New Zealand’s darkest days’. Pictured, with Camilla, Prince Charles and Joe Eccleton, Principal of Cashmere High School
The Duchess of Cornwall and Prime Minister Jacinda Ahern looked deep in thought as they visited Cashmere High School
Prince Charles and Joe Eccleton, Principal of Cashmere High School, watching a presentation at Cashmere High School
Lord Louis Mountbatten was killed alongside his teenage grandson Nicolas Knatchbull and two others when a bomb exploded on a wooden fishing boat off the western coast of the Republic of Ireland in 1979, with the IRA going on to claim responsibility.
‘The worst of times, it seems to me, can so often bring out the very best in us all,’ Charles said.
‘In the wake of the terrible events of March 15, we have seen many examples of this as all the communities of Christchurch have stood proudly with their Muslim brothers and sisters, as those who have suffered so grievously have shown such dignity in response.
‘In all of this the strength of New Zealand character, which I have long admired, has shone through with tolerance, courage and compassion on such conspicuous display.
‘In the midst of the most dreadful loss there is, therefore, cause for great hope,’ he added, before signing off by saying ‘strength and courage to us all’ in Maori.
Prince Charles greeted royal fans who lined the entrance as he arrived at the High School in Christchurch
Charles told an audience at Cashmere Public School he knew of the ‘terrible anguish’ felt by the community, referring to the murder of his great-uncle Louis Mountbatten by terrorists in 1979
The Duchess of Cornwall met with Rosemary Omar, who lost her son Tariq in the Christchurch mosque shooting
The assembly of the school’s students was also attended by New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who, in the aftermath of the Christchurch attack, said it was an ‘act of extreme and unprecedented violence’ on ‘one of New Zealand’s darkest days’.
The school’s head boy Okirano Tilaia, who led a vigil specifically for school children three days after the attacks, said: ‘That Friday, no words can describe what any of us felt.’
Speaking about the vigil, he said: ‘We stood together, united. Our message was, and is, this is who we are, not darkness but light, not hate but love.
‘One evil act does not define who we are, what defines us is how we choose to respond.’
Excited school children were keen to capture the royal arrival on their smart phones
Prince of Wales visited Cashmere High School to meet with victims of the Christchurch mosque shooting
Rhe Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall spoke with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Head Boy during their visit to Cashmere High School
Excited royal fans lined the streets for the arrival of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall
People wait to see the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall during their visit to Cashmere High School to meet with victims of the Christchurch mosque shooting
School children waved at the motorcade of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall during their visit to Cashmere High School
They beamed with excitement before catching a glimpse of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall
Groups of school children waited for the royal arrival at Cashmere High School in New Zealand
Pupils donned their school uniform as they waited to offer Prince Charles and Camilla a warm welcome
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