William to visit New Zealand to honour victims of Christchurch terror attack

The Duke of Cambridge is to visit New Zealand on behalf of the Queen to honour the victims of the Christchurch mosques terrorist attack.

The trip in late April will be made at the request of the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

William will meet with those affected by the attack and pay tribute to the extraordinary compassion and solidarity that the people of New Zealand have displayed in recent weeks, Kensington Palace said.

The duke visited New Zealand following the Christchurch earthquakes in 2011, and William and the Duchess of Cambridge carried out a tour of New Zealand in 2014, taking nine-month-old Prince George with them.

The monarch, who is Queen of New Zealand, and other senior royals sent heartfelt messages of condolence following the shootings at two mosques.

The Queen said she and the Duke and Edinburgh had been “saddened by the appalling events” which left 50 people dead.

The Prince of Wales showed solidarity with New Zealanders, saying: “This appalling atrocity is an assault on all of us who cherish religious freedom, tolerance, compassion and community.”

And in a joint message, William, Kate and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said: “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.”

Harry and heavily-pregnant Meghan told New Zealanders “we are with you” as they signed a book of condolence at New Zealand House in London last week.

The programme and exact date of William’s visit will be announced in due course, Kensington Palace said.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, has been charged with murder and is scheduled to make his next court appearance on April 5.

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