Prince William shares Maori greeting with Jacinda Ardern on New Zealand visit

William meets with victims of Christchurch attack

By Emily Dixon, CNN
Mark Tantrum/The New Zealand Government via Getty Images

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge is greeted with a Hongi, a traditional Maori greeting, by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as they attend the Auckland Anzac Day Civic Service at the Auckland War Memorial Museum on April 25, 2019, in Auckland,…

(CNN) - The Duke of Cambridge was greeted by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with a Maori nose press, or hongi, as he was welcomed in Auckland on Thursday.

Prince William met victims of the Christchurch terror attacks, which saw 50 people killed and a further 50 injured at two mosques in March. Ardern said his visit would "bring comfort" to New Zealand, according to the Press Association.

William, second in line to the UK throne, started his two-day visit by attending an Anzac Day memorial service -- New Zealand and Australia's national day of remembrance. He was greeted at the Auckland War Memorial Museum with a karanga, or exchange of calls, as part of a powhiri, a Maori welcome ceremony.

Attendees at the service commemorated the victims of the Christchurch mosque attacks. New Zealand naval commander James Glimour called the attacks "a cruel nightmare," saying: "As a nation, we are still grieving for the loss."

On behalf of the Queen, William laid a wreath at the Auckland cenotaph.

After the service, he met 4-year-old Alen Alsati at Starship Children's Hospital, as well as her father, Wasseim. Both were injured in the mosque attacks; Alen suffered "critical injuries" and awoke from a coma this week, Kensington Palace tweeted.

In Christchurch, William met first responders at the Justice and Emergency Services Precinct.

"You did an incredible job on a very bad day," he told them.

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