New details on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s trip to New Zealand and Australia in April have been released today by Kensington Palace. William and Catherine, who will be accompanied by Prince George on the trip, Kensington Palace confirms, will arrive in New Zealand first on 7th April, where they will stay and perform engagements for 10 days before travelling to Australia on 16th April to perform another 10 days of engagements.
A number of engagements attended by the royal party will centre around the Armed Forces, due to this year being the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, including attending the ANZAC Commemorative Service in Australia on the last day of the couple’s visit.
Upon their arrival in Wellington, the Cambridges will travel straight to Government House, where they will meet the Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae and his wife Janine, Lady Mateparae. On the lawn in front of the House, the couple will receive a Ceremonial Welcome to New Zealand, which in Maori is called the Powhiri. The formal ceremony concludes with the Duke inspecting a guard of honour, and the firing of a 21-gun salute.
The following day will be spent privately away from the capital, Kensington Palace say. Although Prince George will definitely be accompanying the couple on the trip, officials say that it is too early to be certain of any appearances from the Prince, who will then be 9-months old, though his first possible outing could be on 9th when the Duke and Duchess are to see the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society, who work with new parents and their children, at Government House.
For the next 5 days, the Duke and Duchess will tour other parts of the country away from the capital including a wreath laying ceremony in Blenheim, a visit to the Royal New Zealand Air Force base at Whenuapai, a visit to a local children’s hospice for the Duchess of Cambridge and the opening of the New Zealand national velodrome.
The couple will then perform 2 days of engagements in Dunedin, Queenstown and finally Christchurch on the south island of New Zealand without Prince George, who will be with his nanny, where they’ll attend a Palm Sunday service, attend a rugby event and sample the country’s most famous export: wine.
After a privately spent day on 16th, the couple will then prepare to travel on to Australia – visiting the Royal New Zealand Police College just outside Wellington before they do.
On their first day in Australia on 17th April after a 3-hour flight, William and Catherine will visit the Blue Mountains, to the west of Sydney where they will meet some of the families affected by the bushfires which swept through the area in October last year. The couple then hope to spend the day there to ‘see for themselves some of the natural beauty for which the Blue Mountains are famed.’
Good Friday will be spent on a visit to the Royal Easter Show, which takes place at the Sydney Olympic Park. Attracting around 900,000 people over 2 weeks, the show is a celebration of the nation’s culture and rural traditions.
The couple will attend the morning service at St Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney city centre on Easter Sunday, where the couple will sign the ‘First Fleet Bible’ – the Bible used in the first Christian service held in Australia in 1788. Following this will be a visit to Taronga Zoo.
After a rest day on Easter Monday, the royal party, accompanied by Prince George, will head for Uluru, which is the traditional Aboriginal name for Ayer’s Rock. Here, there’ll be a “Welcome to Country” ceremony from members of the local indigenous communities.
During their final days in Australia, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will fly to Adelaide in South Australia, a trip to Canberra to view the National Portrait Gallery and then to the country’s recently-opened National Arboretum, where the couple will plant a tree. The final engagement of the day takes place at Government House, where a Reception will be hosted by the Governor-General in honour of The Duke and Duchess.
On their last day of the tour, the couple will attend the ANZAC Day March and Commemorative Service at the Australian War Memorial. A Service in Canberra will remember the 99th year of the Anzac landings, and will be followed for the Duke and Duchess by a tree planting in the Memorial Garden – planting a seed from a lone pine which was taken from the site of the Gallipoli battle.
Prince William’s private secretary, Miguel Head, remarked, “this visit will cover off much territory and will allow Their Royal Highnesses to do what they wanted to do above all else: meet New Zealanders and Australians… The Duke has no doubt that his wife will fall in love with New Zealand and Australia every bit as much as he did, some years ago.”
Photo credit: Michael Middleton/PA Wire