Prince William to visit New Zealand to honour victims of terror attacks

By Zach Harper

The Duke of Cambridge may not be in London when his niece or nephew is born – Prince William is set to head to New Zealand in late April, which is said to be the time Duchess Meghan is due. The prince will act on behalf of the Queen and will pay tribute to the victims of the March 15 Christchurch terror attacks, in which 50 people were killed and dozens more were injured when a gunman entered two mosques in the city on New Zealand’s south island.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern requested the visit, which will also involve William meeting with those affected by the attack. Kensington Palace says his trip will also see him “pay tribute to the extraordinary compassion and solidarity that the people of New Zealand have displayed in recent weeks.” The exact dates of William’s visit have not been announced yet, but the palace says a full itinerary and program for William’s visit will be revealed soon.

MORE: The Queen, Prince Charles send condolences following New Zealand mosque attacks

William’s visit also means he could miss the birth of Baby Sussex, since Duchess Meghan is said to be due sometime at the end of April.

This isn’t the first time William has visited Christchurch after a tragedy. He travelled to the city back in 2011 after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck the region, killing 185 people. William has a long history in visiting New Zealand, which he also did with Duchess Kate and Prince George in 2014 as part of his son’s first royal tour.

“Our deepest condolences. We are with you,” Meghan wrote in the book of condolences for the Christchurch victims last week. The duke wrote “Arohanui” next to his signature, which means “best wishes” in Maori. Photo: © Ian Vogler/AFP/Getty Images

Last week, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan made a surprise visit to New Zealand House in London at the Queen’s request. The two laid bouquets in tribute to the victims, and signed the book of condolences set up there. They also met with the New Zealand High Commissioner to the UK to discuss the country’s response to the attacks.

PHOTOS: Duchess Meghan, Prince Harry honour New Zealand victims

Don't miss a beat with HELLO! Canada's Daily Hits newsletter, your daily dose of royal and celebrity news, fashion, weddings and more. CLICK HERE to sign up for free!