Prince Harry and wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, will visit Sydney, Melbourne, Dubbo and Fraser Island on their tour of Australia next month.
Kensington Palace last night released details of the royal tour, which is built around the Invictus Games, the international sporting event for injured and ill veterans founded by Prince Harry, and being held this year in Sydney.
Their visit, part of a four-country tour of the Pacific, will attract huge crowds keen to get a glimpse of the popular prince and his glamorous American wife, whose wedding in May attracted a TV audience of several billion people.
The royal couple will be in Sydney on October 16 for a day, and will then spend the 17th of October in Dubbo in rural New South Wales.
They will spend October 18 in Melbourne, before returning to Sydney for Invictus Games events from October 19-21. The Invictus Games opening ceremony will be held on the 20th.
On Monday, October 22, the royal couple will head to Fraser Island in Queensland, where they will see a completed Queen’s Canopy project, which aims to restore rainforest across the Commonwealth.
They will then head to Fiji and Tonga, before returning to Sydney late on October 26, and spending the 27th in Australia, where they will attend the Invictus Games closing ceremony in Sydney.
Prince Harry is a Commonwealth youth ambassador, and the couple will likely visit community groups involved with young people, focusing on employment, training and community leadership.
They are also likely to give a boost to campaigns helping farmers struggling with the drought, and look at wildlife conservation projects.
The 16-day tour is the couple’s first major overseas tour and will give Australia a huge profile internationally, with hundreds of British photographers and journalists flying to Australia to cover the event.
Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace have had royal aides in Australia for some weeks working on the itinerary, and there will be several opportunities for members of the public to see the royal couple up close.
Kensington Palace said last night the governments of Australia and New Zealand had invited the couple to visit. They had also decided to visit Fiji and Tonga at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK.
“The programme across these four Commonwealth countries will focus on youth leadership, environmental and conservation efforts — including the dedication of several new Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy projects — and the recovery and rehabilitation of servicemen and women through the Invictus Games Sydney 2018,’’ a spokesperson said last night.
Precise details of the royal appearances and what events they will attend are yet to be released.
The Palace said Prince Harry and Meghan will spend October 23 and 24 in Suva in Fiji, then travel on the 25th to Nadi in Fiji, then on to Nuku’alofa in Tonga.
They return to Sydney on the 26th, and will spend the 27th there before heading to Wellington in New Zealand, where they will no doubt meet New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her new baby Neve Te Aroha.
October 28 will also be spent in Wellington, while the royal couple will head to the Abel Tasman National Park in New Zealand on the 29th before heading to Auckland on the 30th.
They will head for home after a final visit to Rotorua in New Zealand on October 31.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he looked forward to welcoming Prince Harry and Meghan next month.
“Their visit will be an opportunity to promote the incredible achievements of Invictus athletes from around the world, and showcase Australian programs promoting youth leadership, environmental and conservation efforts,’’ he said.
TOUR OUTLINE FOR AUSTRALIA
Tuesday 16th October: Sydney
Wednesday 17th October: Dubbo
Thursday 18th October: Melbourne
Friday 19th October: Sydney
Saturday 20th October: Sydney
Sunday 21st October: Sydney
Monday 22nd October: Fraser Island
Friday 26th October: Sydney
Saturday 27th October: Sydney