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British Royal Family

Duchess Meghan & Prince Harry's touching final joint appearance as they pay tribute to New Zealand

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made the special joint appearance just weeks out from becoming parents.

By Jess Pullar
Their last joint appearance before the birth of Baby Sussex was thought to be done and dusted, but a very touching occasion has changed everything for Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan.
Only weeks away from becoming parents, the royals made a surprise public outing where they paid tribute to the victims of the New Zealand terrorist attack, which claimed the lives of 50 people at two Christchurch Mosques.
Dressed in formal attire, the Duke and Duchess cut a strong and striking figure as they arrived at New Zealand House in London on Tuesday, 19th March.
Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan stepped out in a surprise appearance to pay their respects to the victims of a terror attack in Christchurch. (Image: Getty)
The royals were greeted by New Zealand High Comissioner to the UK, Sir Jerry Mateparae, sharing a Hongi greeting with him as they entered.
They also both placed a floral tribute outside the building, joining dozens of other flowers which had been placed there since the devastating attack on March 15.
The Duke and Duchess then signed a book of condolence, being among the first to do so. The book is now open to the public.
Meghan and Harry shared a Hongi with Sir Jerry Mateparae as they arrived. (Image: Getty)
The royals lay floral tributes in front of New Zealand House in London. (Image: Getty)
Meghan and Harry visited New Zealand only months ago. (Image: Getty)
As news of the attack broke around the world on Friday, March 15, Kensington Palace released a statement from the Sussexes, as well as Prince William and Duchess Catherine, who were shocked to hear what had happened.
"We have all been fortunate to spend time in Christchurch and have felt the warm, open-hearted and generous spirit that is core to its remarkable people," the statement from Kensington Palace read.
"No person should ever have to fear attending a sacred place of worship... 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."
The royals ended their statement with a Maori phrase "Kia Kaha", which is commonly used by New Zealanders and translates to "be strong".
The engagement was a poignant one for the royals. (Image: Getty)
Meghan, who visited New Zealand with Harry in late 2018, wore a beautiful black loden-style coat with gold button detailing for the occassion.
She accessorised with a pair of special earrings with a feathered design - they were gifted to her by the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern.
Meghan looked stunning in a black button-down coat and heels. (Image: Getty)
There's no denying Meghan's similarities to Ardern's firm beliefs in social change and women's rights - not to mention their public speaking talent.
On Tuesday, Ardern shared a stirring speech in parliament where she denounced the gunman, vowing to never utter his name.
"He sought many things from his act of terror, but one was notoriety. And that is why you will never hear me mention his name. He is a terrorist. He is a criminal. He is an extremist. But he will, when I speak, be nameless," she said.
"And to others, I implore you: speak the names of those who were lost, rather than the name of the man who took them."
Watch the poignant moment below:
Ardern has taken on an entire country's grief following the harrowing attacks on two Christchurch Mosques in March. (Image: Getty)
Jacinda's actions have been widely praised following the tragic circumstances in New Zealand - something we're sure Meghan and Harry are also impressed with.
While in New Zealand in October last year, Meghan herself shared a rousing speech on equality for all - a poignant topic for the country given it was the first self-governing country in the world to give women the right to vote in parliamentary elections.
"Women's suffrage is not simply about the right to vote for women but also about what that represents," she said.
"The basic and fundamental human right of all people - including members of society who have been marginalised - whether for reasons of race, gender, ethnicity or orientation - to be able to participate in the choices for their future and their community."
Watch the speech below:

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