Australasia is bracing itself for a royal visitor within the next year as reports suggest that Prince Harry will be seconded to Australia and travel on to New Zealand before ending his military career.
The man who broke the story in The London Evening Standard, Robert Jobson, told the Australian media that Harry “loved Australia when he made his short visit and wanted to spend more time there. He will carry out other non military engagements too.”
If reports are correct, then the 30 year-old is expected to continue to partake in military activities whilst in Australia, before traveling on to New Zealand in a non-military capacity.
The 4th-in-line to the throne is also expected to join Prince Charles at the 100th anniversary Anzac Day dawn service in Gallipoli, after his time in Australia.
A senior source told The Standard: “The Prince thought long and hard about his decision to leave active military service but, having served his country on two tours of duty, he felt the time was right to leave. He has loved his time serving.”
“Officials are still working on the precise timings but he will leave the military this year after serving Down Under. Before that he will travel to both countries and be based there and is very much looking forward to that.”
“The exact timings have not been finalised yet, but are expected to be announced officially very soon.”
Neil James, Executive Director of the Australian Defence Association, said there was an long established exchange programme between the Australian and UK militaries involving hundreds of exchanges in both directions.
He said: “There’s plenty of Australian units he could serve with largely based in Brisbane, Darwin or Townsville where there are cavalry units and the attack helicopters are in Darwin.”
“There’s nothing special about this and in many ways it is probably a clever idea. It’s no different to any other British officer serving here except this one is a bit more well known.”
Kensington Palace, The Governor General of both Australia & New Zealand and The Defence Department have so far refused to comment on the situation.