Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, attends the ANZAC Day Civic Service with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Mayor Phil Goff at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Picture: Getty
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, attends the ANZAC Day Civic Service with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Mayor Phil Goff at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Picture: Getty

Jacinda and William’s touching act

PRINCE William has arrived in New Zealand for a brief trip to stand in unity with survivors of last month's mosque attacks.

The Duke of Cambridge attended an Anzac Day service in Auckland this morning alongside Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Mayor Phil Goff.

During the civic service at the city's war memorial, William laid a wreath on behalf of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

He also greeted Ardern with a traditional Maori touch of the noses called a hongi.

Britain's Prince William and New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attend an Anzac Da service at Auckland War Memorial Museum in Auckland. Picture: AP
Britain's Prince William and New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attend an Anzac Da service at Auckland War Memorial Museum in Auckland. Picture: AP

 

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attends the ANZAC Day Civic Service at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Picture: Getty
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attends the ANZAC Day Civic Service at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Picture: Getty

 

This afternoon he will fly to Christchurch where he will visit the two mosques where a gunman killed 50 people on March 15.

The prince plans to meet with first responders, Muslim leaders and survivors of the attack.

New Zealand was highly prepared ahead of Anzac services across the country today, using incredibly tight security amid threats of retaliation over the mosque shootings.

The country was forced to cut the amount of services this year to allocate enough security and police to events.

Earlier this month Auckland council announced 58 events had to be scrapped this year, much to the upset of the community.

 

Prince William with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Mayor Phil Goff at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Picture: Getty
Prince William with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Mayor Phil Goff at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Picture: Getty

 

Today, defiant New Zealanders and Australians ignored threats of terrorism, with thousands showing up to pay their respects to those killed, injured or grieving from war at services across both countries.

Hundreds of Australians have also headed to Gallipoli for the World War I commemorations.

Overnight it was revealed a Syrian man with links to Islamic State had been arrested over an alleged attack plot there.

It's understood the attack was planned in revenge for the Christchurch shootings.

Earlier this week Sri Lanka's minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene said, without evidence, that he believed the Easter Sunday bombings that killed more than 300 were also retaliation for Christchurch.

'THERE IS MUCH DIVISION TO OVERCOME'

Jacinda Ardern said the March 15 massacre, which left 50 dead and almost as many wounded, showed "there is still much division to overcome" in the world.

Anzac Day marks the April 25, 1915 landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli on the Turkish peninsula in an ill-fated WWI campaign against the German-backed Ottoman forces.

 

Large crowds cheer during the Anzac Day Parade at Cranmer Square in Christchurch. Picture: Getty
Large crowds cheer during the Anzac Day Parade at Cranmer Square in Christchurch. Picture: Getty

 

 

Christchurch Minister Lianne Dalziel (C) lays a wreath during the ANZAC Day Dawn Service at Cranmer Square. Picture: Getty
Christchurch Minister Lianne Dalziel (C) lays a wreath during the ANZAC Day Dawn Service at Cranmer Square. Picture: Getty

 

More than 10,000 Australian and New Zealand servicemen died. While the battle failed in its military objectives, it gave rise to commemorations of the courage and close friendship that bind the two countries.

"Each Anzac Day, we take time to reflect and remember," Ms Ardern said in Auckland, calling for a recommitment "to the principles of freedom, democracy and peace that the country had fought for".

 

A member of the New Zealand Defence Force is seen in front of the Christchurch RSA building following the ANZAC Day Dawn Service. Picture: Getty
A member of the New Zealand Defence Force is seen in front of the Christchurch RSA building following the ANZAC Day Dawn Service. Picture: Getty

 

Members of the public react in front of the cenotaph during the ANZAC Day Dawn Service at Cranmer Square in Christchurch. Picture: Getty
Members of the public react in front of the cenotaph during the ANZAC Day Dawn Service at Cranmer Square in Christchurch. Picture: Getty

 

"Recently, our peace was altered dramatically by the terrorist attacks in Christchurch. As we gather together this Anzac Day, we recognise that there is still much division to overcome in the world today." Azeem Zafarullah, the leader of a Muslim youth association, said it was even more important for the Muslim community to take part in the Anzac Day services, following the carnage in Christchurch.

"It's important that we show the public that we're here to represent our country - we are loyal citizens," he told reporters.

 

Prince William with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Picture: Getty
Prince William with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Picture: Getty

 

Mr Zafarullah said the Muslim community had received a lot of support after the mosque massacre, noting: "It's important that we show that support back."

Prince William's trip to New Zealand comes as his brother is days away from welcoming their first child.

Royal watchers worldwide are eagerly awaiting news that Meghan Markle has given birth.

It's understood the baby's arrival is imminent but Prince Harry and Meghan have decided to keep plans private.

"Their Royal Highnesses have taken a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private. The Duke and Duchess look forward to sharing the exciting news with everyone once they have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family," a statement from Buckingham Palace read.

IN PICTURES: ANZAC DAY IN AUSTRALIA

 

Crowds gather in front of the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne. Picture: AAP
Crowds gather in front of the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne. Picture: AAP

 

 

Vietnam Veteran Gram Fernnell is seen during the Anzac Day dawn service at the War Memorial on North Terrace in Adelaide. Picture: AAP
Vietnam Veteran Gram Fernnell is seen during the Anzac Day dawn service at the War Memorial on North Terrace in Adelaide. Picture: AAP

 

 

Anzac Day dawn service at Coogee Beach, Sydney. Picture: AAP
Anzac Day dawn service at Coogee Beach, Sydney. Picture: AAP

 

Army cadet unit member stands at the attention at ANZAC Day Dawn service at Pinegrove Memorial Park in Minchinbury. Picture: AAP
Army cadet unit member stands at the attention at ANZAC Day Dawn service at Pinegrove Memorial Park in Minchinbury. Picture: AAP

 

A large crowd attends the Anzac Day Dawn Service at The Cenotaph in Sydney. Picture: AAP
A large crowd attends the Anzac Day Dawn Service at The Cenotaph in Sydney. Picture: AAP

 

The last post during Anzac Day Dawn Service at the South Australian National War Memorial on North Terrace, Adelaide. Picture: Tom Huntley
The last post during Anzac Day Dawn Service at the South Australian National War Memorial on North Terrace, Adelaide. Picture: Tom Huntley

 

 

Crowds are seen during the Anzac Day dawn service at the Shrine of Remembrance in Anzac Square in Brisbane. Picture: AAP
Crowds are seen during the Anzac Day dawn service at the Shrine of Remembrance in Anzac Square in Brisbane. Picture: AAP

 

Army personnel take part in the Anzac Day march in Melbourne. Picture: AAP
Army personnel take part in the Anzac Day march in Melbourne. Picture: AAP


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