The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are heading down under for an official visit to Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand from Tuesday, 16 October, to Wednesday, 31 October 2018, with a jammed-packed schedule.
This will be Harry and Meghan’s first joint visit to these four countries after receiving invitations from thee countries’ governments.
The main focus of the tour will be on youth leadership and projects involving young people addressing social, economic and environmental challenges of the region during a jammed packed sixteen-day schedule.
The Duke of Sussex, as the Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, is keen to highlight these initiatives and focus on young people’s work across the Commonwealth.
The Royal Family has a long history of friendship with Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand so the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are said to be looking forward to experiencing these four Commonwealth countries’ unique cultures and customers of each of these Commonweal
The royal couple will also dedicate a number of projects to The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy in each country whilst learning more about local conservation initiatives whilst visiting some beautiful landscapes.
Of course, the major focus for the royal couple will be the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 from 20 October to 27 October, to see competitors from 18 countries compete in adaptive sports for sick, injured or disabled servicemen and women.
Tuesday, 16 October – Sydney
Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove officially welcome the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to Admiralty House, the Governor-General’s official residence, with spectacular views of Sydney Harbour.
The royal couple will meet representatives from eighteen countries participating in the Invictus Games Sydney 2018.
The Duke and Duchess will travel to Taronga Zoo at nearby Mosman, accompanied by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, to officially open the new Taronga Institute of Science and Learning.
Harry and Meghan will meet female conservation scientists at the laboratory who are working to reduce illegal wildlife trafficking, and see two koalas and their joeys from the Zoo’s breeding programme,
Afterwards, its a short trip across Sydney Harbour to the Sydney Opera House to view a rehearsal of Spirit 2018 by the Bangarra Dance Theatre and to meet members of the public.
The Duke and Duchess will head back to Admiralty House to attend a Reception in their honour, hosted by Sir Peter and Lady Cosgrove.
Tuesday, 17 October 2018 – Dubbo
Harry and Meghan will spend the day at Dubbo in NSW’s Central West (about 300 kilometres from Sydney) to visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service and visit a nearby property to see first-hand how farmers are battling the worst drought in living history.
Then they will attend a Community Picnic in the Park to celebrate the community spirit with members of the public from the region.
That afternoon, the Duke and Duchess will visit a local school working to improve education for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and participate in a session of netball and touch football drills on the school oval.
Thursday, 18 October – Melbourne
Prince Harry and Meghan fly to Melbourne where they will meet a diverse group of young leaders and community members, including Queen’s Young Leader Hunter Johnson from The Man Cave and ambassadors from the This Girl campaign.
They will meet members of the public beforehand during a short walk to Government House.
The royal couple will visit a social enterprise café offering leadership, mentoring and training programmes for young Aboriginal people.
Harry and Meghan will visit a primary school to meet students involved in sustainability programmes, travel on one of Melbourne’s iconic trams to South Melbourne beach to meet volunteers from a local beach patrol programme who keep Port Philip Bay beaches and foreshores clear of rubbish.
Friday, 19 October – Back To Sydney
The Duke and Duchess will visit the famous Bondi Beach to meet local surfing community group, OneWave, who raise awareness for mental health and wellbeing. Harry and Meghan will participate in the ‘Fluoro Friday’ session with people of all ages sharing their own experiences of mental health issues and surfing.
The royal couple will also meet with members of the public on the beach before attending a youth advocate programme which aims to unite and inspire young people to aim for cohesion and inclusion within their own communities.
Afterwards, they will join Prime Minister Scott Morrison MP and Invictus Games competitors for the Harbour Bridge Climb.
The day finishes with meetings with the Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten at Admiralty House and the Prime Minister at Kirribilli House next door.
Saturday, 20 October – Sydney
It’s another jammed-packed day for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as they travel to Cockatoo Island for the Invictus Games 2018 Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge.
The royal couple will attend a Reception inside the Sydney Opera House, hosted by the NSW Premier, prior to the Opening Ceremony where Prince Harry will give a speech.
Sunday, 21 October – Sydney
The royal couple will attend the cycling and sailing events at the Invictus Games, before attending a lunch hosted by the Prime Minister, in The Domain. Invictus Games competitors and representatives from the community will be present.
Monday, 22 October – Fraser Island
Then it is off for a visit to Queensland’s Fraser Island (or K’gari, according to the Traditional Owners, the Butchulla people).
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and the Butchella People will be present as Fraser Island is dedicated to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC). The Duke and Duchess will unveil a plaque, following a traditional Welcome To Country Smoking Ceremony.
The Duke and Duchess will visit a lake and a beach to discover more about the Island’s logging trade and its use during World War II, as a training base for Z Special Unit, and finish with a walk along the Kingfisher Bay Jetty.
Tuesday, 23 October – Suva
A Guard of Honour will greet the Duke and Duchess upon their arrival in Fiji before calling in to see President Jioji Konrote at Borron House.
The Duke and Duchess will attend an official welcome ceremony, Veirqaraqaravi Vakavanua, at Albert Park in the city centre, which focuses on Fijian cultural identity and heritage. Members of the public are invited to attend the ceremony, including dance performances, presentation of the Tabua and a Kava ceremony.
This ceremony is said to be similar to one which Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh participated in during their visit in 1953.
The royal couple will attend a reception at the Grand Pacific Hotel and a dinner hosted by the Fijian President.
Wednesday, 24 October – Suva
Prince Harry and Meghan will lay a wreath at the Fijian War Memorial, where they will meet Fijian war veterans, including some who served with the British Armed Forces.
They will visit the University of the South Pacific in Suva to meet students studying subjects including agriculture and women’s development. The Duke, as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, will give a short speech and the Duchess will also say a few words.
The royal couple will split up for solo engagements. Prince Harry will travel to Colo-i-Suva Forest Park, a native forest site which is home to native Fijian flora and fauna, including the Fiji Tree Frog.
Prince Harry will unveil a plaque to mark the forest’s dedication to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy and plant an endangered native tree, before meeting with school children, student conservators, local landowners and representatives from sustainable tourism.
Meanwhile, Meghan will attend a morning tea at the British High Commissioner’s Residence to showcase women’s organisations operating in Fiji, including a UN Women’s project called ‘Markets for Change’.
The Duchess will travel to Suva Market to meet female vendors who were part of the project.
Thursday, 25 October – Nadi
The Duke and Duchess will travel to Nadi in Western Fiji for a special event at Nadi Airport.
Following an official welcome ceremony, with the President, senior representatives from both the government and the Armed Forces, the Duke and Duchess will unveil a new statue commemorating British-Fijian soldier Sergeant Talaiasi Labalaba, who was killed during the 1972 Battle of Mirbat.
Thursday, 25 October – Nuko’alofa
Harry and Meghan will board a chartered flight to Tonga at Nadi Airport where Princess Angelika Latufuipeka will greet them upon arrival at Fua’amotu Airport.
The Duke and Duchess will have a private audience with King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipau’u at Consular House in Nuku’alofa, followed by an official reception and dinner, with traditional Tongan entertainment.
Friday, 26 October – Nuku’alofa
Harry and Meghan will visit St George Building to call on Prime Minister Samiuela ʻAkilisi Pōhiva and members of the Tongan government.
They will attend an exhibition with Princess Angelika at the Faonelua Centre, celebrating Tongan handicrafts and products such as the traditional mats and ‘tapa’ cloth, and maybe buy a few souvenirs. The royal couple will also meet with local traders and craftsmen.
Then it is off to Tupou College, the Pacific’s oldest high school founded by a British missionary in 1866 for dedicating two forest reserves, the Toloa Forest Reserve and the Eua National Park Forest Reserve, to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy.
Prince Harry and Meghan will visit the Royal Palace, for an official farewell with King Tupou VI, before leaving for the airport to board their return flight to Sydney.
Back in Australia
Friday, 26 October – Sydney
The Duke and Duchess will attend the Australian Geographic Society Awards to present youth awards to honour high achievers in conservation and adventure.
Saturday, 27 October – Sydney
Harry and Meghan will attend the wheelchair basketball finals at the Quay Centre during the last day of the Invictus Games.
The event finishes with the Closing Ceremony at Qudos Bank Arena, will be a celebration of outstanding achievements and the inspiring Invictus Games competitors’ spirt.
Sunday, 28 October – Sydney
The Duke and Duchess will board a Royal New Zealand AirForce flight to Wellington, with many New Zealand Invictus Games competitors.
Sunday, 28 October – Wellington
Prime Minister Jacinda Arden will meet the royal couple and the Invictus Games competitors when they arrive in Wellington, following a traditional welcome ceremony on the lawns at Government House, the Governor-General Dame Patsy official residence, including a hongi with Māori elders.
Members of the New Zealand Defence Force will perform a haka during the pōwhiri, followed by a 21-gun salute.
The royal couple will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, and visit the newly-unveiled UK War Memorial which features the Royal Oak and a Pōhutakawa, followed by a public walkabout in the Memorial Park.
The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition will make official calls at Government House, prior to a reception, hosted by the Governor-General, to celebrate the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage.
Monday, 29 October – Wellington
The day’s schedule kicks off with a visit to one of Wellington’s most iconic cafes where the royal couple will meet young people from mental health projects which offer support to other young people through helplines, social media, website and school-based programmes.
Afterwards, the Duke and Duchess will travel to Abel Tasman National Park, on the north-Eastern tip of the South Island, for a traditional welcome ceremony, followed by a trail walk with one of the park rangers.
The Duke and Duchess will meet some of the park’s young ambassadors and local school children at a barbecue and tree planting.
They will visit Courtenay Creative in Wellington that evening for a celebration of the city’s thriving creative arts scene. Courtney Creative runs programmes for young people to provide tools and experience to excel in the film industry. The Duke and Duchess will meet young creatives demonstrating their skills in props, make-up and costumes.
Tuesday, 30 October – Auckland
It’s another dedication, 20 hectares of native bush, to The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy on the North Shore as Harry and Meghan unveil a plaque to mark the occasion. They will meet with children from the ‘Trees in Survival’ group in a ‘welly-wanging’ contest, a sport which involves throwing mud boots.
They will join the Prime Minister for a visit to Pillars, a charity supporting children with a parent in prison using special mentoring schemes. The New Zealand Government had gifted NZ$5,000 to Pillars as a wedding present earlier this year. The royal couple will meet some children who have benefited from this funding.
Later that afternoon, Harry and Meghan will meet people on the Viaduct Harbour, before attending a reception, hosted by the Prime Minister at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, including cultural performances. Most of the guests will be young people from 17 to 25 who make significant contributions to their communities’ well-being and the country’s future.
Wednesday, 31 October – Rotorua
The royal couple’s last day will be in Rotorua, a town renowned for its geothermal activity and Maori culture, with a visit to Te Papaiouru Marae, for a formal pōwhiri and luncheon hosted in their honour.
Then they head off to Rainbow Springs to meet with conservationists to find out more about the kiwi breeding programme to protect New Zealand’s national bird, which has become an endangered species in recent years. They will also be given the chance to name two young kiwi chicks.
The Duke and Duchess will meet with members of the public in Rotorua that afternoon, before a trip to the Redwoods Treewalk, a 700-metre walkway of suspension bridges between 117-year-old Redwood trees, and home to a thriving mountain biking community. They will meet representatives from the local biking community and learn more about the forest’s history.
They return to Auckland that evening, before departing Auckland for their flight home to London the following day.