It's Official! Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Just Announced Their First Royal Tour
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will visit Australia, New Zealand, Tonga and Fiji
The couple, who recently returned from their honeymoon, will head to Australia, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga and New Zealand in the fall, Kensington Palace announced Sunday.
The visit to Australia is no surprise. Meghan, 36, previously revealed she would join Harry, 33, at his next Invictus Games in Sydney. The Paralympic-style competition takes place from Oct. 20-27, and in Sunday’s announcement, their palace office confirms the tour will happen around the time of the games.
The new Duke and Duchess of Sussex — who made her Buckingham Palace balcony debut on Saturday as the couple helped Queen Elizabeth celebrate her 92nd birthday — will also head to other countries part of the Commonwealth of 53 nations linked to the U.K.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will undertake an official visit to Australia, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga, and New Zealand in the Autumn,” reads the announcement. “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.”
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It’s an important step for Meghan, who along with Harry is to take a key role in the Commonwealth. Among her royal commitments is her upcoming first solo public duty alongside the Queen. On Thursday, Meghan will accompany the monarch on a visit to Chester, which is about 165 miles northwest of London.
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“The Queen knows the potential pitfalls of not giving [new members] a guiding hand,” Ingrid Seward, author of the recent biography of the Queen and Prince Philip, My Husband & I, recently told PEOPLE. “It’s all about the monarchy. She can’t expect Meghan to know everything without being shown.”
“She doesn’t want 70 years of hard work to be for nothing,” added Seward. ”I’m sure she feels Meghan needs a steadying hand in these early days.”