Prince Harry & Meghan's First Royal Tour Kicks Off Soon, So Here's What You Need To Know
It's going to be a busy fall for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. On Monday, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their first Royal Tour. Kensington Palace previously revealed that the newlyweds would be visiting Australia, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga, and New Zealand, but a formal itinerary and new details about the trip weren't made public until now. According to a royal press release, the trip will take place between Tuesday, Oct. 16 and Wednesday, Oct. 31. The trip will begin in Sydney, Australia, from which the royals will depart for Fiji and Tonga, before rounding out the trip with a return Australia and a visit to New Zealand.
The royals were invited to visit Commonwealth of Australia and New Zealand by the country's respective governments, while their trip through Fiji and Tonga was requested by the Foreign and Commonwealth office, according to Kensington Palace.
As for the agenda, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will use these visits to tackle important issues, and intend to talk with leaders about youth leadership, environmental, and conservation efforts. They will also attend the dedication of several of the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy projects, and support the 2018 Sydney Invictus Games for the rehabilitation of servicemen and women. Prince Harry started the international event, which brings together wounded or injured veterans to compete in adaptive sports, according to the foundation's website.
This will be the couple's first official royal tour, but it won't be their first time traveling since their wedding in May. In July, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex went on a two-day tour of Ireland, according to Harper's Bazaar. The visit was their first trip out of England as a married couple, and they took the opportunity to meet with President Michael Higgins and his wife, Sabina Coyne. The trip to Dublin was brief in comparison to their upcoming travels, which will take the couple away from home for several weeks.
The 2018 Invictus Games are sure to be a highlight of the international visit. The games hold a special meaning for Prince Harry and Markle. According to E! News, the couple made their first public appearance together at the Toronto Games in September of 2017. The two were seen holding hands and sitting together during the event, making it their first joint engagement after nearly a year of dating.
In April, the engaged couple attended a reception to celebrate the forthcoming Invictus Games, according to People. They also appeared at the U.K. Trials the same month, once again showing up to support the event. Prince Harry and Markle cheered on the 400 athletes competing for the 72 spots on the United Kingdom's team the Paralympic style games. According to E!, Markle told one of the competitors that she was already looking forward to the event in October. "She told me that she had never been to Australia, but was going to this year's event and was really looking forward to being there with Harry," rugby competitor Michael Mallon told the publication.
It looks like the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will have a busy couple of weeks during the tour, and their time at the games in Sydney, Australia will likely be a meaningful moment from the trip. Prince Harry is already planning for the future of the event — in June, he revealed the 2020 Invictus Games will be hosted in The Hague, Netherlands, according to Time. The preparations for future events will come after the couple is able to see another successful competition on the Fall.
While the Invictus Games will be making the itinerary, Kensington Palace has yet to reveal further details about the trip. The official announcement from Kensington Palace promises more information will be released when the autumn tour date are closer. Either way, the trip is already shaping up to be an eventful couple of weeks for the royals.