Duke and Duchess of Cambridge 'to travel to Australia' after bushfires

Rebecca Taylor
Royal Correspondent
Prince William and Kate in South Wales earlier in February. (Getty Images)

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are understood to be planning a trip to Australia to visit the towns ravaged by the recent bushfires.

Prince William and his wife Kate are said to be weeks into preliminary negotiations with Scott Morrison’s government for a royal visit which it is hoped will boost international donations to the disaster.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports Morrison will extend the formal invitation this week, which is needed to set the plans fully into motion.

However, Kensington Palace declined to comment on reports.

William and Kate wave as they leave Canberra at the end of the 2014 tour. (Getty Images)
Prince William and Kate laid a wreath at the cenotaph during the ANZAC Day march at the Australian War Memorial in 2014. (Getty Images)

William and Kate completed a royal tour in Australia in 2014, with Prince George coming along for his first taste of international duty, and charming the locals in a play group.

It’s not yet known if the couple’s three children, George, six, Princes Charlotte, four, and Prince Louis, one, would accompany their parents.

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The visit will be William’s fifth trip down under. He also went in 2011 to tour flood hit areas in Queensland and Victoria.

On 4 January, William and Kate shared a message of condolence to those affected by the fires on their Instagram account.

Prince George charmed at the play group when he joined his parents on the last tour. (Getty Images)
Prince George with his mother at a play group in Australia. (Getty Images)
Kate showed her maternal side during their 2014 visit. (Getty Images)

Alongside a dramatic image, they wrote: “We continue to be shocked and deeply saddened to hear about the fires that are destroying homes, livelihoods and wildlife across much of Australia.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all the people and communities who are affected by this devastating event.

Bushfires have ravaged the Australian landscape for weeks. (Getty Images)

“We send our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who have tragically lost their lives, and the brave firefighters who continue to risk their own lives to save the lives of others.”

It’s hoped rain will help extinguish the final fires, which have destroyed about 2,400 homes and killed 32 people.

Prince William has also launched The Earthshot Prize, to reward those trying to address climate change and ecological concerns.

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When he launched it at the end of last year, he said the earth was at a “tipping point”. The Australian bushfires have been linked to climate change.

The news of the trip emerged as William and Kate joined his father and wife near Nottinghamshire today for a visit to Stanford Hall, a defence medical rehabilitation centre.

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