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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 April 2019

Prince William to visit Christchurch in wake of terrorist attacks

The Duke of Cambridge will 'pay tribute to the extraordinary compassion and solidarity' of the people of New Zealand in April

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, lay a stone during a visit the CTV memorial site in April 2014, flanked by Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel and Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery, Gerry Brownlee. Getty Images
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, lay a stone during a visit the CTV memorial site in April 2014, flanked by Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel and Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery, Gerry Brownlee. Getty Images

Prince William will visit Christchurch to honour the victims of the terrorist attacks, on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II.

Kensington Palace said the tour would take place in late April, at the request of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

"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," a palace statement said.

William last visited New Zealand in 2014, then accompanied by his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge. Christchurch was the final stop in the couple's South Island tour, where they spent several days taking in the rebuild of the city in the wake of the 2011 earthquakes, which killed 185 people. It was also the couple's first official trip with Prince George.

Their schedule included a visit to the former CTV Building site – which collapsed in the earthquake, killing 115 people – where they met with families of the victims.

They also toured the transitional Cardboard Cathedral in Latimer Square (built by Shigeru Ban after the city's cathedral was destroyed in the earthquakes) and played cricket with children during a central city walkabout.

At the time, Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel paid special tribute to William, saying: "His visit so soon after the earthquake in March 2011 was a special one for Christchurch communities."

William's solo trip to Christchurch three years earlier was part of a tour of disaster zones in New Zealand and Australia, also on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II. It came barely a few weeks after the earthquakes.

He spent that trip meeting with rescue workers and fire crews, and visiting the then-badly damaged cathedral.

The full programme of the Duke's 2019 tour has yet to be announced.

Updated: March 28, 2019 10:59 AM

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