The British royal family have released statements sending condolences to the victims of yesterday’s Christshurch terror attack, in which at least 49 people were killed in shootings at two of the city’s mosques.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex released a joint statement earlier this morning, saying:

Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the people who lost their lives in the devastating attack in Christchurch.

We have all been fortunate to spend time in Christchurch and have felt the warm, open-hearted and generous spirit that is core to its remarkable people. No person should ever have to fear attending a sacred place of worship.

This senseless attack is an affront to the people of Christchurch and New Zealand, and the broader Muslim community.

It is a horrifying assault on a way of life that embodies decency, community, and friendship.

We know that from this devastation and deep mourning, the people of New Zealand will unite to show that such evil can never defeat compassion and tolerance.

We send our thoughts and prayers to everyone in New Zealand today.

Kia Kaha

The Prince of Wales has also sent a message to the New Zealand governor-general concerning the attack, saying:

Both my wife and I were utterly horrified to hear of the most barbaric attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, which resulted in the cruel and tragic loss of so many people’s lives. It is beyond all belief that so many should have been killed and injured at their place of worship and our most special and heartfelt sympathy goes out to all the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives.

This appalling atrocity is an assault on all of us who cherish religious freedom, tolerance, compassion and community. I know that the people of New Zealand will never allow hate and division to triumph over these things they hold dear.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families, the first responders, the people of Christchurch and all New Zealanders at this most heartbreaking of times.

An Australian man is due to face court this morning, charged in connection to what is believed to be the deadliest mass-shooting in New Zealand’s history.

Image: AAP / Joe Giddens