"You are an inspiration," Prince William told the people of Canterbury at yesterday's national memorial service for the victims of the Christchurch earthquake.
Judging by the crowd's reaction, the feeling was mutual. The Prince's speech was greeted with enthusiasm by the tens of thousands of people gathered in Hagley Park to remember those who died in the 6.3-magnitude quake. The toll is believed to be 182.
Even his slightly off pronunciation of "kia kaha" (stand strong) brought smiles of recognition and appreciation.
Speaking on behalf of his grandmother, the Queen, Prince William used the words she used when expressing her feelings for New Yorkers after the 2001 terror attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Centre.
"My grandmother once said that grief is the price we pay for love. Here, today, we love and we grieve."
William also paid tribute to those suffering in Japan, saying the people of Christchurch could understand what they were going through.