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Princess Anne shares personal statement as New Zealand trip affected by cyclone and earthquake

The Princess Royal landed in Wellington on Wednesday

princess anne new zealand
Danielle Stacey
Danielle StaceyOnline Royal CorrespondentLondon
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The Princess Royal said her "thoughts with all New Zealanders" affected by Cyclone Gabrielle as she landed in the country for her four-day visit.

Princess Anne, accompanied by her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, met with response staff after landing at Wellington International Airport on Tuesday.

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A national emergency has been declared in New Zealand after widespread damage from Cyclone Gabrielle. Tens of thousands of Kiwis were also rocked by a 6.3 magnitude on Wednesday evening at 7.38pm local time.

The New Zealand Defence Force released a personal statement on behalf of Princess Anne, who said: "I have been given the opportunity to visit the national disaster and crisis headquarters today and 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.

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Princess Royal lays a wreath in New Zealand© Photo: Getty Images

Princess Anne lays a wreath at the Pukeahu National War Memorial

"I admire the courage of the people of Aotearoa during this alarming and difficult time.

"You should all be proud of the resilience, strength and care for your communities you are showing in the face of adversity."

She ended her message with "Kia Kaha," a Māori phrase, which means "Stay strong".

Anne's schedule has seen some last-minute schedule changes as a result of the cyclone. She had reportedly been due to visit the Linton Military Camp to mark the Army's Royal New Zealand Corps of Signals' 100th anniversary celebrations, in her role as Colonel-in-Chief.

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Princess Anne visits the Beehive© Photo: Getty Images

Princess Anne at the National Crisis Management Centre

On Wednesday, the Princess was pictured wearing a mask as she visited the National Crisis Management Centre in the basement bunker of the Beehive (the New Zealand parliament buildings).

She later attended a Service of Remembrance at Pukeahu National War Memorial in Wellington. Wearing a striking yellow suit and one of her signature brooches, Anne also laid a wreath at the service.

Anne's last visit to the country was in 2010, while Charles and Camilla, then the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, were the last royals to travel to New Zealand in 2019.

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