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Be strong, William tells quake city

Prince William has urged the earthquake-stricken city of Christchurch to "be strong".

In a speech to tens of thousands of people at a memorial service in the city, he told them they were an "inspiration to all people".

William is on a tour of disaster-stricken areas of New Zealand and Australia on behalf of the Queen. He has seen first-hand the damage to the centre of Christchurch, which was hit by the quake on February 22, meeting rescue workers and those affected by the disaster.

The Prince's arrival caused a stir in the badly-damaged seaside town of Sumner, with people lining the streets to welcome him, and hordes turned out for the National Christchurch Memorial Service in the city, where William urged them to stay strong.

The Prince, who donned a Korowai - a traditional Maori cloak - was welcomed by Henare Rakiihia Tau, from the Ngai Tuahuriri sub-tribe, who in a speech told William to "nibble at the apple and be fruitful".

In his own address, William referred to a message sent by the Queen to the people of New York after September 11, saying: "My grandmother once said that grief is the price we pay for love. Here, today, we love, and we grieve.

"We honour the lives and memories of all those who did not survive the earthquake - New Zealanders, and those from many countries around the world who came to this city as visitors or to make it their home."

He told crowd members they were regarded with admiration and awe by the rest of the world, and said they could appreciate more than anyone the "full horror" of events in Japan.

"Courage and understated determination have always been the hallmark of New Zealanders, of Cantabrians. These things the world has long known," he said.

"But to see them so starkly demonstrated over these terrible, painful months has been humbling. Put simply, you are an inspiration to all people."

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