Kensington Palace has confirmed that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are to tour New Zealand and Australia in April of next year, most likely accompanied by Prince George.
The visit, which has been rumoured for several months, will be the first to New Zealand or Australia for the Duchess of Cambridge – who will one day be Queen of both countries.
The Duke and Duchess have been invited by the Australian and New Zealand Government.
Whilst William and Kate are expected to take Prince George, it is said that a final decision on whether the couple take him will be made in due course. He will be 9 months old by the time of the tour and it would be the first time he has been out of the country.
In a rather heartwarming coincidence, Prince William accompanied his father and mother (The Prince and Princess of Wales) on their official tour of Australia and New Zealand in March/April 1983, when he was also 9 months old.
The Cambridges will first visit New Zealand before Australia and will involve in a variety of activities and engagements in the two countries.
Although Catherine has never visited the two countries, Prince William last visited New Zealand in March 2011, shortly after the Christchurch earthquake.
Previously, he visited in January 2010, when he represented The Queen at the opening of the Supreme Court building in Wellington, and also visited Auckland. The Duke visited privately in 2005 when he followed the British Lions’ rugby tour.
Kensington Palace say details on the exact dates and itinerary “will be issued in due course”.