Prince William will honour the victims of the Christchurch mosque attacks as he arrives in New Zealand on behalf of The Queen.
The Duke of Cambridge will begin his trip in Auckland on Thursday before travelling to Christchurch.
He will meet with those affected by the terror attack, including survivors and their families, the emergency services and Muslim community leaders.
Kensington Palace has said the duke will pay tribute to the ‘extraordinary compassion and solidarity that the people of New Zealand have displayed in recent weeks’.
His visit comes at the request of New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in the wake of the deadly shootings at two mosques on March 15.
Bariz Shah, the head of the University of Canterbury Muslim Students’ Association said William’s visit means a lot.
He added: ‘We honour Prince William’s empathy if it is his top agenda to come and see the victims.
‘Just like we honour the empathy of the New Zealand people.
‘Prince William coming and showing his empathy would mean a lot, not only to the students, but to the wider Muslim community as well.’
A total of 50 people were killed while dozens more were injured when a gunman opened fire during Friday prayers.
The Queen, who is also Queen of New Zealand, sent heartfelt messages of condolence following the attacks.
The Queen said she and The Duke of Edinburgh had been ‘saddened by the appalling events’.
In a joint message, William, Kate , Harry and Meghan 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.’
William visited New Zealand following the Christchurch earthquake in 2011 and was joined by the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George for a tour of New Zealand in 2014.
Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, has been charged with murder over the mosque attacks.
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