Princess Anne attends Service of Remembrance for war veterans and visits a disaster response centre during week-long trip to New Zealand
- Princess Anne, 72, visited the National Crisis Management Centre in Wellington
- She praised work of responders after Cyclone Gabrielle hit country on Monday
- READ MORE: Huge 6.3 magnitude earthquake rocks New Zealand with the nation still recovering from a devastating cyclone
Princess Anne has been meeting with first responders in New Zealand following the devastating cyclone which has been ravaging the country this week.
King Charles III’s sister, 72, visited New Zealand’s disaster management headquarters in the capital Wellington on Wednesday and praised the nation’s response.
Anne, who was joined by her husband Tim Laurence on the visit, said that her ‘thoughts are with all New Zealanders whose homes or livelihoods have been affected by Cyclone Gabrielle’.
The Princess Royal’s week-long visit to New Zealand was scheduled before the cyclone struck on Monday.
Known for her hard work and practical attitude, Anne continued to conduct her engagements as the cyclone weakened and moved away from the country on Wednesday.
Princess Anne (right) and her husband Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence speak after the Service of Remembrance at Pukeahu National War Memorial in Wellington on Wednesday
Since then, a huge earthquake has also hit the islands, as they continue to recover from the impact of Cyclone Gabrielle.
Anne’s presence in the country was requested by the Army’s Royal New Zealand Corps of Signals, of which she is Colonel in Chief.
The Princess was due to attend its 100th anniversary celebrations at Linton Camp near Palmerston North on Wednesday morning.
But the event was called off in the wake of the destructive weather, with personnel instead drafted into the recovery effort surrounding the cyclone.
Instead, the royal visited the Beehive Bunker and a war memorial with her husband, Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence.
She was pictured laying a wreath in the Hall of Memories at Pukeahu National War Memorial, which honours 30,000 New Zealanders who have died in past conflicts.
The Princess and her husband, 67, were pictured together as they signed what appears to be a book of remembrance.
Sir Tim Laurence, who previously worked as the late Queen’s royal equerry, wore his military medals to the service.
The Princess Royal, who is the Colonel in Chief of the New Zealand Royal Signals, was pictured laying a wreath in the Hall of Memories at Pukeahu National War Memorial
The Princess and her husband, 67, were pictured together as they signed what appears to be a book of remembrance
The Princess Royal looked reflective at the Service, which was held at the National Memorial Centre which honours 30,000 New Zealanders who have died in conflict
Military personnel escorted the Princess and British High Commissioner to New Zealand as they went into the centre to attend a memorial service
British High Commissioner to New Zealand Ms Iona Thomas and Princess Anne, Princess Royal visit the UK Memorial
Anne wore a yellow gold overcoat with a dark blue collar and navy dress underneath.
She donned practical low black heels as she attended the memorial service, before walking up to the stage at the front to position a large wreath of roses.
And earlier in the day, Anne visited the National Crisis Management Centre in Wellington.
Her smart coat again had a golden hue, and featured a striped design. Underneath she wore a simple white top and camel skirt.
She paired the look with a gold jewellery set, including a brooch, gold chain choker with diamonds and droplet earrings – a favourite combination of hers which she has been pictured wearing before.
Princess Anne visited the National Crisis Management Centre in Wellington, where she was shown around by officials including the new Prime Minister (not pictured)
During her tour, she spoke with disaster response officials and heard about their strategies for dealing with the major weather event
In a statement, Anne said: ‘I am impressed by the major efforts being undertaken by first responders, local and national agencies to ensure the best possible support for everyone, especially those still at risk’
Emergency services continue to respond to the effects of the cyclone as a huge earthquake has also hit the islands
Wearing a surgical mask to protect against Covid transmission in the bunker, the Princess was shown around the centre by the country’s new Prime Minister, Chris Hipkins.
During her tour, she spoke with disaster response officials and heard about their strategies for dealing with the major weather event.
In a statement, Anne said: ‘I am impressed by the major efforts being undertaken by first responders, local and national agencies to ensure the best possible support for everyone, especially those still at risk.’
‘I admire the courage of the people of Aotearoa during this alarming and difficult time,’ she added, using the Maori name for New Zealand.
‘You should all be proud of the resilience, strength and care for your communities you are showing in the face of adversity.’
New Zealanders are beginning to assess the damage done by the huge cyclone, which has left landslides, flooding and displaced people in its wake.
The Princess Royal is in New Zealand this week for her first visit since 2010.
It is the first visit to the country by a member of the royal family since 2019, when then-prince Charles and Camilla travelled during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.
The Princess Royal is scheduled to be in the country until Friday, with plans to visit a disabled riding group in Porirua and meet with the Royal Agricultural Society in Christchurch.
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