On behalf of Queen Elizabeth and the royal family, Prince William attended the Anzac Day Civil Service at the Auckland War Memorial Museum in New Zealand on Thursday, April 25. Soon after arriving in the island country, he met with the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, to pay tribute to the men and women of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who lost their lives in World War I.
For the occasion, William, 36, sported two medals of honor and a red pin on a navy blue suit. To greet Jacinda, he performed a traditional Maori welcome by pressing his forehead against her forehead as a sign of respect from him.
The service got underway once William entered the museum with Auckland’s mayor, Phil Goff, and a few local church leaders who prayed for fallen soldiers. In the middle of the ceremony, William got up and placed a wreath with a note at the bottom of a monument inside the museum. According to Stuff, the note read: “We will never forget the sacrifice of the Anzacs. With deep gratitude, William.”
After the service ended, William didn’t jet back to London to spend time with Kate Middleton and their kids. According to Kensington Palace’s official Instagram account, he’ll spend one more day in New Zealand before he leaves. “The Duke will pay tribute to those affected by the Christchurch mosques terrorist attack, and will recognize the incredible empathy and unity displayed by the people of New Zealand in the weeks that followed. #NewZealand #Anzac #AnzacDay #LestWeForget,” the palace shared on Wednesday, April 24.
For William’s last day in New Zealand, he’ll meet with people who were affected by the Christchurch terrorist attack, including the survivors, their families, first responders and Muslim community leaders.
“Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the people who lost their lives in the devastating attack in Christchurch,” Kensington Palace said in a statement at the time. “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.”