Prince William Embodies Diana During Emotional Visit to NZ
The Duke of Cambridge was in New Zealand for a two-day tour to meet survivors of the Christchurch terrorist attacks that killed 50 people last month, and travelled to Auckland for ANZAC Day commemorations. “The Duke has a great affection for New Zealand and its people,” a palace aide told Vanity Fair magazine. “New Zealand also has a great affection for the Duke and the royal family. It was very much the Duke’s decision to come to New Zealand, he wanted to do something and not just something reactive.”
“It was important for the Duke to show the people how much they matter to him,” a source close to the royal said. “That’s what this trip is about. A lot of people have died here, it’s important that as a future king William visited a country he has a close bond with.”
The Duke delivered a heartfelt speech at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, one of three mosques attacked on 15 March. Speaking in Māori, the Duke concluded his speech with a powerful message: “I stand with you in optimism about the future of this great city. I stand with you in grief for those we have lost, and with support for those who survived. And I stand with you in firm belief that the forces of love will always prevail over the forces of hate.”
“Representing the Queen in a major realm at a moment of national trauma requires a careful balance of formality and humanity. As he did after the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, William once again seems to have got it just right,” Princess Diana’s former private secretary Patrick Jephson said. “As protocol requires, he will have been guided by the New Zealand Prime Minister; yet he was also willing to draw on his own painful experience of loss. Duty and empathy with a hint of vulnerability – his mother’s trademark style.”
Original article by Katie Nicholl, Vanity Fair, April 26, 2019.