Monday, March 21, 2011

Prince William completes his tour meeting those affected by natural disasters in New Zealand and Australia

21st March 2011
Prince William returned home today after meeting those affected by natural disasters in New Zealand and Australia.

He has come to the end of a five-day trip on behalf of The Queen - after visiting earthquake-hit Christchurch, towns ravaged by Cyclone Yasi in North Queensland, and flood-hit areas in South Queensland and Victoria.

Prince William has won hearts everywhere he has visited, hearing tales from those who have suffered at the hands of the natural disasters affecting the region.

He was said to have been "incredibly moved" by what he saw and the stories he heard.
"But everywhere he's gone he has seen a lot of resilience and good humour," a spokesperson for St. James’s Palace said.

"He's very pleased and honoured to have been able to come and meet so many people in some quite hard-to-reach communities."

The spokesperson said Prince William had enjoyed the tour but "he hasn't come here to enjoy himself - he's come to do a job".

"He's been very touched and humbled by what he's seen because these communities have lost everything and the way they have stuck together and looked after one another is genuinely a lesson to all of us."

The tour has been filled with emotional moments, such as a meeting with the family of 13-year-old Jordan Rice, who died, along with his mother in Toowoomba, Queensland, after telling rescuers to save his brother.

But there were some moments of light relief. After a quick introduction to Australian Rules Football from Jim Stynes, Irish-born President of the Melbourne Football Club, Prince William jumped at the chance to kick a ball at the waiting photographers.

"You do realise you are giving me the ultimate - kicking this as hard as I can at you guys is the ultimate," he joked.

"Are you ready because someone's going to get hurt?"

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