Prince William will visit victims of the Christchurch mosque shootings next month, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced yesterday on the eve of a national remembrance service being held in the grieving South Island city.
Ardern said the focus of today's service and next month's royal visit was supporting the Muslim community, which was devastated when a self-avowed white supremacist killed 50 people at two mosques in a shooting rampage.
Ardern will address the service, which has the theme "We Are One" and will be broadcast on national television.
She said representatives from 59 nations, including Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, were attending the event, which is expected to draw tens of thousands of people.
The emphasis will be on the Islamic community, with an invocation ringing out across Hagley Park, speeches by Muslim leaders and a performance by Cat Stevens, the British singer who shunned stardom in the 1970s and became a Muslim.
Ardern said William, the Duke of Cambridge, was "very keen to show his support for the city and the Muslim community as it emerges from this attack".
William will represent his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, the official head of state of the former British colony.