Prince William Honors Fallen Soldiers on Anzac Day in New Zealand

Prince William is off parenting duty and making the royal rounds solo for a poignant reason.

The 36-year-old Duke of Cambridge arrived in New Zealand today to honor armed service men and women, as well as those who lost their lives in the devastating mosque attacks on March 15.

Prince William kicked off his two-day visit on behalf of Queen Elizabeth in Auckland. There, he met with prime minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and, in honor of Anzac Day, paid tribute to the men and women who’ve served in the Australian and New Zealand armed forces. Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the landing of troops at Gallipoli during World War I and has been a meaningful day in the royal family’s calendar since 1916.

The duke and Ardern greeted each other with a “hongi”, a traditional Maori greeting in which two people press their noses and foreheads together. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry utilized the same greeting while visiting New Zealand late last year.

prince william and prime minister of new zealand hongi
Phil Walter/Getty Images

Prince William and Arden went on to attend a service at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, where they somberly listened to prayers for service men and women as well as victims of the recent Christchurch and Sri Lanka terror attacks. During the service, William reportedly placed a decorative wreath at a fallen soldier monument that read, “We will never forget the sacrifice of the Anzacs. With deep gratitude, William.”

Shortly thereafter, William flew to the New Zealand city of Christchurch to pay his respects to the 50 lives lost during the mosque terrorist attacks. Tomorrow, William is scheduled to meet with members of the public and families affected by the travesty.

Meanwhile, Kate Middleton and Prince Harry attended the Anzac Day service at Westminster Abbey in London together.

Talk about dividing and conquering.

Lex Goodman

Cat mom, yogi, brunch enthusiast

Lex is an LA native who's deeply obsessed with picnics, Slim Aarons, rosé, Hollywood history and Joan Didion. She joined PureWow in early 2017.
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