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Royals remember New Zealand earthquake victims

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Media captionThe duke and duchess visited Christchurch on the seventh day of their tour of New Zealand and Australia

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have paid their respects to the victims of 2011 Christchurch earthquakes as they continue their tour of New Zealand.

The royal couple met some of the bereaved families of the disaster, which killed 185 people.

The royals later took part in an impromptu game of cricket which saw the duke bowl against his other half.

The couple took to the wicket to promote the 2015 Cricket World Cup, to be played in New Zealand and Australia.

In a red Luisa Spagnoli skirt suit and three-inch heels, the duchess took her place on the makeshift crease in Christchurch's Latimer Square to face a few deliveries from her husband.

Former New Zealand batswoman Debbie Hockley was on hand to give her advice, while Prince William had his own expert guidance from New Zealand cricketing legend Sir Richard Hadlee.

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Image caption The duke praised the "creativity and innovation" of the Christchurch people
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Image caption New Zealand batswoman Debbie Hockley advised the duchess on her batting technique
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Duchess of Cambridge also took a turn at playing wicket keeper

After the game, Prince William then gave a speech in which he praised the "resilience" of the people of Christchurch, which in 2011 suffered from two large earthquakes in February, and then another in June.

He said: "Both Catherine and I have found ourselves moved this morning by the reminders of how awful the second earthquake was, striking as it did out of the blue in the middle of an ordinary day.

"For you in Christchurch, it is inevitable that, after such a shocking and disruptive experience, choices about the way forward will be challenging.

"Yet, what has struck me on this visit - three years on - is the resilience and adaptability of Christchurch.

"Despite the daunting job ahead of you, life continues with classic Kiwi humour, creativity, innovation and determination. Christchurch remains a buzzing, thriving city."

Earlier the royals had visited Christchurch's CTV memorial park, where they met families of those who died in the natural disaster.

The CTV building - the base of Canterbury Television - was razed to the ground during the 6.3-magnitude earthquake in February 2011, and its collapse was responsible for nearly two-thirds of the death toll from the disaster.

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