Attention all fellow commoners: we only have 11 more sleeps until the Duke and Duchess of Sussex land on our shores for the first time as a married couple.
So you’d better start practising your curtsies because we’ve been told the newlyweds want to meet as many Aussies as possible when they tour the country this month. (Yes! That means you!).
Prince Harry, 34, and Meghan Markle, 37, are set to visit Sydney, Melbourne, Dubbo in NSW and Queensland’s Fraser Island.
They will also fly over to Fiji and Tonga between October 23-26 and spend four days in New Zealand after leaving Sydney on October 28.
A key feature of their tour is the Invictus Games in Sydney, an Olympic-style event founded by Prince Harry for wounded veterans. Their schedule also includes four public walkabouts (aka our only chance for royal selfies and handshakes), a Melbourne tram ride and baby koala pats.
“The Duke and Duchess are very much looking forward to experiencing the unique customs and cultures of these four Commonwealth countries and have asked that this tour allows them to meet as many Australians, Fijians, Tongans and New Zealanders as possible,” said the spokeswoman for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
So without further ado, here’s exactly how their tour will go down.
Tuesday, October 16
- Official welcome with Governor-General Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove at Admiralty House. Eighteen Invictus Games representatives to also be present.
- Open Taronga Zoo’s new science and learning institute with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklan. Meet two koalas and their joeys from the zoo’s breeding program.
- Boat ride to the Sydney Opera House.
- View a rehearsal by the Bangarra Dance Theatre.
- Public walkabout near the Sydney Opera House.
- Reception hosted by the Governor-General at Admiralty House with Australians representing charities, businesses, arts and sports.
Wednesday, October 17
- Board flight to Dubbo.
- Visit Royal Flying Doctor Service.
- Meet farmers at local property affected by the drought.
- Public picnic at Victoria Park, where Prince Harry will deliver a speech.
- Visit local school working to improve education outcomes for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
Thursday, October 18
- Public walkabout to Government House through the Royal Botanic Gardens.
- Reception hosted by the Governor of Victoria, with state leaders and community workers. Watch sporting demonstration by This Girl Can campaign.
- Visit social enterprise cafe with offers mentoring and training to young Aboriginal people.
- Visit primary school to see students involved in discuss sustainability programs.
- Take iconic tram ride to South Melbourne beach.
- Meet volunteers from a clean beach patrol program.
Friday, October 19
- Visit Bondi Beach to meet surfing community group, OneWave. Take part in “Fluro Friday” session to discuss mental health issues and interact with others enjoying yoga and surfing.
- Public walkabout at Bondi Beach.
- Take part in youth advocate program to discuss social justice and youth empowerment with students.
- Prince Harry to climb Sydney Harbour Bridge with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Invictus Games competitors to raise the Invictus Flag.
- Meeting with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten at Admiralty House.
- Meeting with Prime Minister Scott Morrison at Kirribilli House.
Saturday, October 20
- Take boat to Cockatoo Island to attend the Invictus Games driving challenge.
- Invictus Games reception held inside Sydney Opera House.
- Invictus Games opening ceremony, with Prince Harry to give an address.
Sunday, October 21
- Day to be spent watching Invictus Games including cycling and sailing.
- Lunchtime reception at The Domain hosted by the Prime Minister, with Invictus Games competitors and representatives.
Monday, October 22
- Meeting with traditional owners of K’gari, the Butchulla People and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Take part in traditional welcome to country smoking ceremony.
- Visit Lake McKenzie to meet local elders and park rangers.
- Head to beach to learn about island’s logging trade and World War II history.
- Boat ride to Kingfisher Bay.
- Public walkabout along the jetty.
Fiji and Tonga
Friday, October 26
- Evening at Australian Geographic Society Awards at Shangri-La Hotel to present youth awards in conservation and adventure.
Saturday, October 27
- Watch Invictus Games events, including wheelchair basketball finals at Quay Centre.
- Invictus Games closing ceremony at Qudos Bank Arena, where both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will give a speech.
Sunday, October 28
- Leave Sydney on a Royal New Zealand Airforce flight towards Wellington, along with New Zealand Invictus Games athletes
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