Britain's Prince William to visit New Zealand to honour shooting victims

FILE PHOTO - Britain's Prince William speaks during a reception at the British Consulate General in Jerusalem, June 27, 2018. Debbie Hill/Pool via Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Prince William will visit New Zealand next month to honour the 50 victims of the mass shooting at mosques two weeks ago, his office said on Wednesday.

William, the Duke of Cambridge, will make the trip on behalf of his 92-year-old grandmother Queen Elizabeth, New Zealand's head of state, following a request from its 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," Kensington Palace said in a statement.

William and other senior royals have already spoken of their horror at the March 15 attack on two mosques in Christchurch for which a suspected white supremacist has been charged with murder.

"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," William said.

"We know that from this devastation and deep mourning, the people of New Zealand will unite to show that such evil can never defeat compassion and tolerance."







(Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Stephen Addison)