Prime Minister Bill English has welcomed the announcement that His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge will attend the New Zealand Battle of Passchendaele commemorations in Belgium this month.
Prince William will attend New Zealand’s National Commemoration at Tyne Cot Cemetery on 12 October, representing Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of New Zealand.
He will be joined by Princess Astrid of Belgium who will attend on behalf of her brother, King Philippe.
“It is fitting that the Duke of Cambridge will be there to mark 100 years since the battle and to recognise an important part of New Zealand’s story,” Mr English says.
“Passchendaele was the greatest disaster in New Zealand military history. Some 843 men are recorded as having lost their lives on 12 October 1917, the most on any single day of combat involving New Zealand troops.
“A century later we will remember the courage and sacrifice of those who fought and died and commemorate a significant chapter in our nation’s history.
“I am also pleased that Princess Astrid will attend as the centenary provides an opportunity for Belgium and New Zealand to remember the events which so profoundly affected both our nations and which tie us together today.”
The Government will be represented at Tyne Cot by Minister Nick Smith, and the Speaker of the House David Carter will represent Parliament.
National commemorations will also be held in New Zealand. More information about the centenary events can be found at ww100.govt.nz/passchendaele-centenary.