UK & World News
Queen Gives Green Light For George's Oz Trip
Prince George will accompany his parents on a tour of New Zealand and Australia after the Queen gave permission for two heirs to travel on the same plane.
According to protocol, in order for two heirs to travel on the same plane, permission must be sought from the reigning monarch.
Royal aides say she has given permission, meaning the royal baby will join William and Kate on the three-week tour.
It is the first time the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George will have travelled overseas together on official business.
Prince George, the future king, will be just eight months old when he joins his parents on board the 24-hour flight to New Zealand for the first leg of their tour Down Under.
The trip mirrors that undertaken by Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales with Prince William to New Zealand and Australia in 1983. Then, the young Prince William was a matter of a few days older than his son is now.
It's anticipated Prince George will accompany his parents on one or two official engagements in New Zealand and Australia, but according to Kensington Palace: "The couple will make a final decision on those moments much closer to the time.
"The Duke and Duchess are content enough to know that he (Prince George) will be with them in the two countries."
Unlike previous tours conducted by William and Kate, this time around the itinerary has been formed largely with Prince George in mind.
Instead of hopping from city to city, the Duke and Duchess will operate out of three "hubs" to which they will return most evenings in order to minimise the upheaval for their son.
While in New Zealand most travel will be conducted from Wellington, while Sydney and capital Canberra will be the Australian hubs.
Kensington Palace confirmed the couple would spend two nights away from their son during the 19-day tour, but would not confirm whether this would be the first time since Prince George was born in July last year.
This is new territory for Kate too, who is yet to visit both countries.
An aide to the Duke of Cambridge told Sky News: "It's a tremendously exciting visit and I can tell you Their Royal Highnesses are looking forward to it immensely.
"As you know, the Duchess has never visited either country, so this is a chance for her to meet the people of New Zealand and Australia for the first time."
Prince William last visited New Zealand in 2011 shortly after the Christchurch earthquake. During the same trip the Duke also visited Victoria and Queensland which had been badly affected by natural disasters.
The Duke's private secretary added: "This visit, at around three weeks in length, represents a wonderful opportunity on the one hand for the Duke to deepen his personal relationship with, and admiration for, New Zealand and Australia; and on the other, for the Duchess to experience some of the extraordinary warmth and hospitality for which the people of both countries are renowned the world over."
William, Kate and Prince George arrive in New Zealand on Monday, April 7, before travelling to Australia on Wednesday, April 16. The royal tour concludes on Friday, April 25.
The three-week tour will see an official party of 11 accompany the Duke and Duchess. It includes two private secretaries, three communication officers, a tour secretary, a personal assistant, a hairdresser and an orderly to look after logistics.
A new addition to the party will be Prince George's nanny. Kate will not take a "dresser" with her on the lengthy tour.
Sir David Manning, appointed by the Queen to a part-time advisory role in the newly formed Kensington Palace household in 2009, will also join the travelling party. In addition a number of close protection officers will be on hand to ensure the Cambridge's safety.
In New Zealand the Duke and Duchess will visit the capital city Wellington as well as Blenheim, Auckland, Hamilton, Cambridge, Dunedin, Queenstown and Christchurch.
Among the many engagements the couple will conduct in the country that brought the world the bungee jump, will be an adrenaline fuelled 50mph white water ride through the canyons of the Shotover River.
Among the many visits in Australia, the royal couple will visit Uluru, the traditional Aboriginal name given to Ayers Rock.
"This will be a very special moment for both of them, because the rock itself is utterly captivating," explained a Kensington Palace spokesperson.
While in Australia, the couple will visit Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Brisbane, Uluru, Adelaide and Canberra.
A palace spokesman concluded: "The Duke has no doubt that his wife will fall in love with New Zealand and Australia every bit as much as he did, some years ago."
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