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A speech by Prince William at the memorial service in Christchurch, New Zealand

Published 8 March 2011

My grandmother once said that grief is the price we pay for love.

The Duke of Cambridge

“Tena koutou katoa”. Today, I represent The Queen.

I convey to you Her Majesty’s message of deep sympathy and condolence. My grandmother once said that grief is the price we pay for love. Here, today, we love…and we grieve.

We honour the lives and memories of all those who did not survive the earthquake - New Zealanders, and those from many countries around the world who came to this city as visitors, or to make it their home. Our thoughts and our prayers are with their families, wherever they may be.

I also bring a personal message. It arises from seeing this tragedy unfold from afar. It is a message about strength through kindness, about fortitude. For you who are so close to these events, and who have lost so much, it must be hard to grasp the degree of admiration – indeed, awe – with which you are regarded by the rest of the world.

Courage and understated determination have always been the hallmark of New Zealanders, of Cantabrians. These things the world has long known. But to see them so starkly demonstrated over these terrible, painful months has been humbling. Put simply, you are an inspiration to all people.

I count myself enormously privileged to be here to tell you that.

This community, more than any other in the world at the moment, can appreciate the full horror of what is unfolding in Japan. Our thoughts and prayers are with them, too.

In the last two days, I have heard tales of great tragedy - but also of extraordinary bravery and selfless courage. Throughout, one phrase unites them all. With The Queen’s heartfelt good wishes, and those of The Prince of Wales and other Members of my family, I say it to you now:
“Kia kaha”. Be strong.

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A selection of messages will be passed onto members of the Royal Family, and may be held in the Royal Archives for posterity.