Thursday 19 September 2019

'You don’t forget the shock, sadness, and pain' - Prince William reflects on his grief as he meets victims of Christchurch bombing

Britain's Prince William, left, meets Imam Gamal Fouda of Masjid Al Noor at the Al Noor mosque during a visit to the mosque in Christchurch
(Joseph Johnson/Pool Photo via AP)
Britain's Prince William, left, meets Imam Gamal Fouda of Masjid Al Noor at the Al Noor mosque during a visit to the mosque in Christchurch (Joseph Johnson/Pool Photo via AP)
Britain's Prince William greets New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Mark Tantrum/The New Zealand Government/Handout via REUTERS
Britain's Prince William arrives at Christchurch airport with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern John Kirk-Anderson/Pool via REUTERS
New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern waits for Britain’s Prince William to visit Linwood Masjid in Christchurch, New Zealand REUTERS/Tracey Nearmy

BANG Showbiz

Britain's Prince William opened up about his own grief as he made an impassioned speech to the people of New Zealand.

The 36-year-old reflected on the tragic loss of his mother, the late Princess Diana in 1997, as he spoke out to support the residents of Christchurch following the mosque shootings in March, which left 50 dead and more injured.

Speaking at the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, he said: "I have had reasons myself to reflect on grief and sudden pain and loss in my own life. And in my role, I have often seen up close the sorrow of others in moments of tragedy, as I have today. What I have realised is that of course grief can change your outlook. You don’t ever forget the shock, the sadness, and the pain.

"But I do not believe that grief changes who you are. Grief - if you let it - will reveal who you are. It can reveal depths that you did not know you had. The startling weight of grief can burst any bubble of complacency in how you live your life, and help you to live up to the values you espouse. This is exactly what happened here in Christchurch on the 15th of March."

Britain's Prince William greets New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Mark Tantrum/The New Zealand Government/Handout via REUTERS
Britain's Prince William greets New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Mark Tantrum/The New Zealand Government/Handout via REUTERS

And Prince William praised the community spirit from the local residents, who all came together in the wake of the attacks.

He added: "An act of violence was designed to change New Zealand. But instead, the grief of a nation revealed just how deep your wells of empathy, compassion, warmth, and love truly run. You started showing what New Zealand really was almost immediately.

"On the road outside these walls people pulled their cars over and started caring for the victims even when they did not know if it was safe to do so. Your neighbours opened their doors to those who were fleeing the violence. Your first responders apprehended the killer and immediately worked to save lives in the most challenging of circumstances.

"In the days that followed, thousands of bouquets of flowers filled public spaces in this city, brightening the darkest of moments ... You showed the way we must respond to hate - with love."

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