The New Zealand Army’s 16th Field Regiment will pay tribute to the Death Gun on Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s death, firing 96 rounds – one for each year of Her Majesty’s life.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has sent a letter of condolence to King Charles, expressing sympathy for his mother’s death.
“As Queen of New Zealand, Her Majesty is loved for her grace, calmness, dedication and public service. Her feelings for New Zealand and its people are clear and a shared one,” Ardern wrote.
“Her Majesty was an important part of our lives during her reign – but she was first and foremost a daughter, a sister, a mother and a grandmother.
“You express our deepest sympathies for her loss, but we also thank her for her extraordinary career of service,” Ardern wrote.
The Prime Minister was informed of the Queen’s death at 4.50am yesterday when a police officer shone a torch into her room.
She said New Zealand woke up “with great sadness” from the news of the Queen’s passing.
“This is a woman who gave her life completely to serve others.”
Ardern spoke to Newstalk ZB’s Heather du Plessis-Allan yesterday about the Queen’s interest in current events in New Zealand.
She said King Charles had a similar interest.
“these years, [Charles’ involvement in politics] Always at a level where you would expect a future king to be interested,” Ardern told du Plessis-Allan.
The prime minister expects King Charles III to remain politically neutral, although he has publicly expressed his views on various issues in the past – including climate change. This is sometimes considered controversial due to the royal family’s precedent for maintaining political neutrality.
“[Royals] Interested in what’s going on; current events and issues New Zealand is most concerned about,” Ardern said.
She said she had met King Charles on “some” occasions, most recently in Europe, when he showed a “real affinity” for New Zealand.
Ardern said Charles had a special connection to the country through his partnership with The Prince’s Trust, a charity for disadvantaged young people.
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