Prince William will visit New Zealand to honour Christchurch terror attack victims

The Duke of Cambridge will visit New Zealand next month [Photo: PA]
The Duke of Cambridge will visit New Zealand next month [Photo: PA]

Prince William will fly to New Zealand next month to honour the victims of the Christchurch mosque shootings.

The Duke of Cambridge will be representing his grandmother the Queen, with the visit coming at New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern‘s request.

The Prince visited Christchurch and the surrounding Canterbury region in the wake of the devastating 2011 earthquake that killed 185 people. He and wife Kate returned for a two-day stay in 2014 with young Prince George.

“The visit will be another sign that this nation will always stand with those affected by the terror attacks, and the people of Christchurch,” the Prime Minister said.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in New Zealand in 2014 [Photo: PA]
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in New Zealand in 2014 [Photo: PA]

Kensington Palace added: “The Duke will meet with those affected by the attack and will pay tribute to the extraordinary compassion and solidarity that the people of New Zealand have displayed in recent weeks.”

After the mosque attacks which killed 50 people, William, Kate, Prince Harry and wife Meghan sent a message that ended in “Kia kaha”, meaning “be strong” in Maori.

“No person should ever have to fear attending a sacred place of worship,” they said.

READ MORE: How Britain fell in love with the Duchess of Cambridge

“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.”

Ardern has led efforts to support New Zealand’s small, tightly-knit Muslim community in the wake of the attack.

As well as symbolic gestures such as donning a headscarf while comforting survivors, she has also moved to tighten gun laws and called for social media giants to do more to combat hate speech.

She will attend a remembrance service on Friday which she has described as a chance for New Zealanders to again show their inclusive values.

    • With additional reporting by AAP

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