Prince William kicks off New Zealand trip commemorating Anzac Day

New Zealand — Britain's Prince William arrived in New Zealand on Thursday for a two-day visit to commemorate wartime soldiers and visit survivors of last month's mosque attacks.

The Duke of Cambridge attended an Anzac Day service in Auckland on Thursday morning alongside New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. During the service, William laid a wreath on behalf of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

Anzac Day is a national holiday — similar to Memorial Day in the U.S. — marking the anniversary of New Zealand and Australian soldiers, known as Anzacs, landing on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915. More than 10 000 soldiers from the two countries were killed during that WWI campaign in what's now Turkey.

Thereafter, William met Wasseim Alsati and his 4-year-old daughter who was injured in the Christchurch attacks. The young girl woke from a coma earlier this week after suffering critical injuries and is recovering at Starship Children’s Hospital in Auckland.

William is scheduled to fly to Christchurch on Thursday afternoon. On Friday, he will visit the two mosques where a gunman killed 50 people on 15 March.