Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are slated for a busy royal tour of Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, and Fiji next month.
Kensington Palace has announced the couple's agenda for the couple's visit, which lasts from October 16 to October 31, 76 engagements and activities focusing on "youth leadership, environmental and conservation efforts – including the dedication of several new Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy projects."
Further details about The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's Autumn Tour to Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand have been released 🇦🇺🇫🇯🇹🇴🇳🇿 pic.twitter.com/b3XD4GaVnh
- Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) September 10, 2018
A highlight of their trip will also be the Invictus Games, which runs from October 20-27 in Sydney. Prince Harry is a patron of the competition, which features wounded and injured servicemen and servicewomen from across the globe. He and Meghan actually made their public debut as a couple during last year's installment of the games in Toronto, Markle's residence at the time.
Here's what you need to know about the upcoming trip:
They’re flying commercial.
Harry and Meghan will use a commercial plane into Sydney for the start of their tour, and back to London at the end of the 16-day trip. Royals usually use charter planes for official obligations abroad, but people like Kate Middleton has previously used a budget jet while flying home from engagements in The Netherlands.
Meghan will have some solo engagements that highlight women.
The Duchess will attend two engagements linked with the UN Women’s Market for Change project, which promotes women’s empowerment in marketplaces throughout the Pacific. Although she’s a UN Women ambassador, Fiji requested the engagements.
“There is a movement in Fiji to encourage women away from the stereotypical roles [in the household] and [UN Women are] looking to strengthen women’s opportunities in Fiji,” a Palace aide said. She’ll also give a speech at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji.
The tour is designed for a married couple.
Harry’s previous previous visit to these countries included engagements like rugby games, but the couple won’t be doing such events on their trip. “The tour has been designed for the Duke and Duchess as a young married couple,” a palace aide said. “It’s a different type of visit to a single man’s tour.”
They’ll travel with an entourage of at least 10.
In Australia and New Zealand, the couple will be accompanied by their private secretary Samantha Cohen, deputy private secretary Amy Pickerel, an orderly, a Kensington Palace assistant, a hairdresser (reportedly George Northwood, who’ll be paid for privately), a personal photographer, three communications officers, and a program coordinator. In Fiji and Tonga, they’ll have to additional staff.
See the dates of their tour ahead.
Tuesday, 10/16: Sydney, Australia
After arriving on October 15, the couple will kick off royal tour with a visit at Admiralty House in Sydney, the official residence of Australia’s Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, and his wife, Lady Cosgrove. The Sussexes will stay with the couple on their trip. (They’ll also spend one night in Fraser Island and two nights at a hotel during the second leg of their Sydney visit.) They’ll meet representatives from each of the 18 countries participating in the Invictus Games upon arrival.
The couple will visit the Taronga Zoo to open to Taronga Institute of Science and Learning. They’ll meet two koalas and their joeys, as well as female conservation scientists fighting wildlife trafficking.
Then they’ll attend a rehearsal of the Bangarra Dance Theatre at the Sydney Opera House, and finish with a reception at Admiralty House.
Wednesday, 10/17: Dubbo, Australia
Meghan and Harry will visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service and meet local farmers suffering form drought. They’ll follow with a picnic in Victoria Park with members of the public. After, they’ll visit a local school “working to improve the education outcomes of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders,” according to a press release. The couple will also play netball and football with the students.
Thursday, 10/18: Melbourne, Australia
The couple will have a short walk to Government House, greeting well-wishers along the way. They’ll attend a reception at the House with young Victorian leaders, community members, Queen’s Young Leader Hunter Johnson, and ambassadors from This Girl Can campaign, who will put on a demonstration for Their Royal Highnesses.
They’ll visit a social enterprise café, which offers training programs for young Aboriginal people. And they’ll visit a primary school to meet students involved in sustainability programs. Finally, they’ll take a tram down to South Melbourne beach to meet volunteers from a local beach patrol program to learn about their environmental efforts.
Friday, 10/19: Sydney, Australia
Back in Sydney, the couple will visit Bondi Beach and meet with OneWave, a local surfing group that raises awareness on mental health. They’ll participate in “Fluro Friday,” an event where people share experiences on mental health issues, and they’ll be able to meet people doing yoga, surfing, and gathering on the beach.
Harry and Meghan will also participate in a youth advocate program to discuss social justice and youth empowerment. Afterwards, Harry will climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge to raise the Invictus Flab ahead of the annual Games. He’ll be accompanied by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and various competitors.
The day will end with calls on the Leader of the Opposition at Admiralty House and the Prime Minister at Kirribilli House.
Saturday, 10/20: Sydney, Australia
For day one of the Invictus Games, the couple will attend the Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge on Cockatoo Island followed by a reception at the Opera House that night. Later, they’ll attend the Invictus Games Opening Ceremony and Harry will give a speech.
Sunday, 10/21: Sydney, Australia
The couple will make their rounds at the Invictus Games, including cycling and sailing competitions. They’ll attend a lunch reception at The Domain, hosted by the Prime Minister with other competitors and representatives from the Games.
Monday, 10/22: Fraser Island, Australia
Meghan and Harry will visit Queensland’s Fraser Island (also known as K’gari) for the site’s dedication to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy. They’ll meet Traditional Owners of K’gari, the Butchulla People, and the Premier of Queensland and participate in a welcoming ceremony.
Next, they’ll visit one of Fraser Island’s lakes and meet local elders and park rangers. Afterwards, they’ll hit the beach to learn about the islands’ history in logging trade and serving a training base during World War II.
Lastly, they’ll take a walk along the Kingfisher Bay Jetty.
Tuesday, 10/23: Suva, Fiji
The Duke and Duchess will fly via charter plane to Suva, Fiji’s capital. They’ll be received by a Guard of Honor at the airport and call on the President of Fiji at Borron House. Then, they’ll attend a traditional welcoming ceremony (called Veirqaraqaravi Vakavanua) at Albert Park in the city’s center. Members of the public will be invited to join. Meghan and Harry will finish with a state dinner at the Grand Pacific Hotel, hosted by the President of Fiji. Harry is slated to give a speech.
Wednesday, 10/24: Suva Fiji
Harry will start the morning by laying a wreath at the Fiji War Memorial. Then he and Meghan will visit the University of South Pacific campus is Suva, where they’ll watch a performance on the effects of climate change and meet students. Harry is scheduled to deliver a speech, and Meghan will follow.
“She’s a very confident speaker. When the Duchess launched Together, she spoke confidently and off the cuff-it’s only natural at some of the events she’s doing by herself that she would want to speak,” a senior palace aide said.
Then, the couple will do a few engagements solo. Harry will stop by Colo-i-Suva Forest Park, an indigenous forest site, for its dedication to The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy. Meanwhile, Meghan will attend morning tea at the British High Commissioner’s Residence to explore women’s organizations in Fiji. She’ll also learn about a UN Women’s project, Markets for Change, which promotes women’s empowerment across the Pacific. Later, she’ll travel to Suva Market to meet female vendors involved in the project.
Thursday, 10/25: Nadi, Fiji and Nuku'alofa, Tonga
The Sussexes will attend an official welcome ceremony at Nadi Airport and later veil a statue commemorating Sergeant Talaiasi Labalaba, a British-Fijian soldier who died in the Battle of Mirbat in 1972. The President of Fiji and representatives from government and armed forces will attend the event.
Next, couple will fly to Tonga via charter plane and meet a fellow royal, Princess Angelika Latufuipeka, upon arrival. That night, they’ll visit Consular House for a private audience with King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipauʻu, followed by a reception and dinner with traditional Tongan entertainment, according to a press release.
Friday, 10/26: Nuku'alofa, Tonga, and Sydney Australia
Meghan and Harry will visit the St. George Building for a call on Prime Minister S. Akilisi Pohiva and members of the cabinet. Then Princess Angelika will accompany them to an exhibition to the Faonelua Center, which will celebrate traditional Tongan crafts and products.
They’ll visit to Tupou College to dedicate two forest reserves into the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy. The Tupou College Boys’ will present a traditional performance for the event. Afterwards, they’ll head to The Royal Palace for an official farewell from the King before departing for Sydney.
That night, they’ll attend the Australian Geographic Society Awards, which highlights accomplishments in exploration, science, and conservation, to present youth awards. Prince Harry will give a speech.
Saturday, 10/27: Sydney Australia
This marks the last day of the Invictus Games. The couple will attend the wheelchair basketball finals and the Closing Ceremony for the tournament, where they’re both expected to give speeches.
Sunday, 10/28: Wellington, New Zealand
Harry and Meghan will fly via New Zealand AirForce with some New Zealand competitors from the Invictus Games. They’ll be greeted by Prime Minster Jacinta Ardem on their arrival. “New Zealand has hosted many, many royal visits and they offered up these options and the Duchess though they were all very good,” a palace aide said. Meghan has been to the country before, but never to Fiji, Tonga, or Australia.
They’ll attend a traditional welcome ceremony at Government House (the residence of Governor-General, Patsy Redddy) where they’ll be invited to hongi with the Governor-General’s Māori elders, Kuia and Kaumātua. The ceremony will include a haka performed by members of the New Zealand Defense Force and a 21-gun salute. School children will also attend the festivities.
Next, the couple will travel to Pukeahu National War Memorial Park to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, visit the new UK War Memorial, and take a walkabout in the Memorial Park.
Then they’ll receive official calls from the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition at Government House and attend a reception hosted by the Governor General celebrating the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand.
“They are in New Zealand for the anniversary of a historic time. New Zealand has had three female Prime Ministers and a strong tradition of female empowerment,” a palace aide says.
Monday, 10/29: Wellington and Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand
The Sussexes will start the morning with a visit to one of New Zealand’s most famous cafes to talk to young people involved in mental health projects. Then they’ll visit Abel Tasman National Park where they’ll be greeted with a traditional welcome ceremony, go on a trail walk to learn about the park, and join young ambassadors and school children for a barbecue lunch and tree planting.
At night, they’ll visit Courtenay Creative to celebrate the city’s creative arts scene.
Tuesday, 10/30: Auckland, New Zealand
In Auckland, the couple will visit the North Short to dedicate a 20-hectare area of native bush to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy. They’ll also learn about the land and join kids from the Trees in Survival group in a “welly-wanging” (a boot-throwing sport) contest. “The Duchess has been made aware of the wellie wanging,” an aide says.
The couple and the Prime Minster will also visit Pillars, a charity that uses mentoring to support children who have a parent in prison. (Meghan and Harry donated $5,000 to the charity for their wedding.)
In the afternoon, the couple will be able to meet people in Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour and alter attend a reception hosed by the Prime Minister at the Auckland War Museum. They’ll enjoy cultural performances by members of the city’s Pasifika community. The guests will mostly be 17- to 25-year-olds making “significant contributions to the wellbeing of their communities, representing the future of New Zealand,” according to a press release.
Wednesday, 10/31: Rotorua, New Zealand
On their last day, the Duke and Duchess will visit Rotorua, which is known for its geothermal activity and Maori culture, and Te Papaiouru Marae for a pōwhiri and luncheon.
They’ll follow up with a visit to Rainbow Springs to learn about its kiwi breeding program and meet with conservationists. They’ll also name two young kiwi chicks.
Next, the couple will meet members of ht public gathered in the city before traveling to Redwoods Treewalk Rotorua. They’ll take an educational tree walk and meet representatives of the local biking community.
Harry and Meghan will return to Auckland before leaving for London the next day.
This isn't the Sussexes' first trip outside of England since getting married in May. Over the summer, the duo took a two-day visit to Ireland, which included meeting Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, meeting President Michael Higgins, and attending a garden party at the British ambassador's residence in Dublin.
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