Prince William arrives

Prince William arrived in Christchurch this morning. He has come here to attend the memorial service tomorrow and to visit the families of the Pike River miners in Greymouth. This is a 5-day visit to parts of New Zealand and Australia where there have been recent disasters. The Prince is representing the Queen.

This morning, the Prince visited the Civil Defence headquarters. Then he went on a tour of the central business district – the CBD – to have a look at the damage. He was shocked at how bad it was. He met the soldiers and the search and rescue teams and congratulated them on the work they have been doing. The Prince is a search and rescue pilot with the Royal Air Force in the UK.

In the afternoon, he flew to Greymouth to meet the families who lost husbands, fathers or sons in the Pike River mine. This was a private meeting (no cameras or reporters) to give him a chance to talk to each person including the children. The mayor of Greymouth said that Prince William could understand the sadness that families felt because he too had a tragedy in his life when his mother, Princess Diana, died.

Prince William will be married next month. He and his future wife decided they did not want wedding gifts. Instead guests can donate to a charity. They have chosen the Christchurch earthquake as one of these charities.

Next Prince William will fly to Queensland and Victoria in Australia where the recent floods caused so much damage and many people died.


Why was Prince William a good choice to send to New Zealand and Australia on this occasion? Can you think of three or four reasons?

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