Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have announced their first official tour as a couple. The newlyweds will visit Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga, and New Zealand before traveling to Australia to attend the the Invictus Games in Sydney from October 20 to 27.
According to Kensington Palace, “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will undertake an official visit to Australia, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga, and New Zealand in the Autumn. Their Royal Highnesses have been invited to visit the Realms of Australia and New Zealand by the countries’ respective governments. The Duke and Duchess will visit the Commonwealth countries of Fiji and Tonga at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.”
Prince Harry, who founded the Invictus Games, a sports competition for wounded servicemen and veterans, has been praised for his support of British soldiers returning from combat. He also served his country by completing a ten-week tour of duty in Afghanistan, where he was deployed as a Forward Air Controller to Helmand Province.
The Games, which are held in a different city each year, have special meaning for the royal couple, who made their first public appearance together at the 2017 Games in Toronto, which hosted 550 competitors from 17 countries.
According to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Australians would receive the Duke and Duchess with "great warmth and excitement."
"The Duke of Sussex has become a champion for war veterans around the world, including in Australia. His attendance, alongside The Duchess of Sussex, will be a wonderful highlight for the more than 500 competitors and thousands of spectators. Lucy and I look forward to hosting their visit and watching the remarkable feats of Invictus athletes from around the world,” Turnbull said.
The couple’s tour follows the tradition of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, who toured Australia and New Zealand for 41 days shortly after their wedding. The Duke and Duchess are expected to attend several events, including The Everest at Sydney's Royal Randwick, the world’s richest turf race, and a polo tournament in Melbourne.
Visitors to Fiji a have been advised by the International Association for Medical Assistance for Travellers to beware of “ongoing Zika virus transmission.” It is recommended that “anti-mosquito bite measures be taken during the daytime.” Also, pregnant travellers are advised to postpone travel to the country.
There has also been speculation that the royal couple may visit Canada, where the Duchess lived for several years while filming Suits, for Canada Day on July 1.