Prince William and Kate Middleton's tour of Australia and New Zealand is almost one month away, but we're already getting excited for the couple's third royal tour and Prince George's first time abroad on an official visit. This will mark Kate's first trip to Australia and New Zealand, though William has been to both countries before with his parents and on other official visits. While most royal tours are made up of an endless list of duties, we've picked out the key dates that will probably be the perfect moments for cute photo ops and possibly even a Prince George appearance! Read on for our highlighted dates from the three-week tour.
April 7: The Arrival
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will arrive with Prince George at Wellington Airport in New Zealand on Monday following a 25-hour flight from London. They will then immediately travel to Government House, the home of Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae and his wife, Lady Janine. They will receive a ceremonial welcome to New Zealand, which will include a Powhiri, the official welcome ceremony of the Maori people. This typically includes a performance in full Maori garb and the touching of foreheads and noses.
Royal fans may remember that Government House was the site of one of William's first public appearances when he was less than 1 year old. Prince Charles and Princess Diana brought William out for a photo op in the gardens (pictured above), where photographers could snap pics of the young royal playing on a blanket. Interestingly enough, William's first trip to New Zealand and Australia happened when he was just one month older than George is now.
April 9: Possible George Appearance
After a day off away from the capital at a private residence, the family will head back to Wellington, where they will stay at Government House. They will then attend an event for the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society, a charity for Kiwi families and children. Prince George reportedly will be making an appearance at the event, which will also include many other families and young children. So, plenty of opportunity for playtime.
April 10: An Air Show and a State Dinner
The Duke and Duchess will travel to the town of Blenheim, where they will attend a wreath-laying ceremony in memorial of the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI. They will then travel to the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, where they will be given a tour of the Knights of the Skyexhibition and, weather permitting, see aircrafts from WWI in action.
After the tour, the couple will travel back to Wellington, where they will meet with the Leader of the Opposition and with the prime minister and, later, attend a state dinner at Government House. So, expect a gown and — fingers crossed — perhaps a tiara from Kate! William will give a speech at the dinner and also unveil a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.
April 11: Will and Kate's Sailing Race
The group will fly to Auckland, where they will have an "informal" meeting with families and service personnel who are stationed at the RNZAF base at Whenuapai.
After the base visit, the real fun starts, as the duke and duchess will travel to the Emirates Team New Zealand base to meet with the country's world-class sailing team and take part in an "informal" race against one another. William's private secretary noted, "As everyone probably knows, however, the duke and duchess are just a little competitive." What we'll take away from that is watch out, Will!
The two are no strangers to racing on the water during these types of visits. Back in 2011, Kate and Will competed against one another in a dragon boat race on Prince Edward Island during a tour of Canada (pictured). Will won that time, so competitive Kate may be looking forward to redeeming herself in New Zealand. After the race, the two will take a spin on Sealegs, a boat that can drive on dry land and in the water. The two will then return to Wellington via the RNZAF base.
April 13: Wine and White-Water Rafting
Following a trip to Hamilton and Cambridge in the previous day, the couple will leave George behind for a two-day tour of Dunedin, Queenstown, and Christchurch, all on South Island. The two will attend a Palm Sunday service at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul and then visit the stadium to watch a festival of Rippa Rugby, or noncontact rugby. The duke and duchess will each coach a team, and Will's secretary promises, "We can expect some pretty competitive outbursts."
The couple will then fly to Queenstown, where they will visit the Amisfield vineyard, one of the locations of New Zealand's growing wine production. After tasting some wine, the couple will then go on a white-water ride through the Shotover River, which will undoubtedly be a good photo op. After their ride, the couple will return to their hotel in the Queenstown area.
April 16: Last Day in New Zealand, First Day in Oz
The duke and duchess will visit a police academy in Wellington before heading to the airport to catch a flight to Sydney. The family will travel straight to the Sydney Opera House, where they will be given a formal reception by the governor and Premier of New South Wales. Will is slated to give a speech, and then they will travel by boat across Sydney Harbour to Admiralty House, where they will stay with the governor-general.
April 20: Easter Sunday
After a trip to the Blue Mountains and a visit to Queensland, the couple will attend an Easter service at St Andrew's Cathedral in Sydney and then travel to Taronga Zoo. The Australian government made a donation to the zoos' bilby-preservation program on the occasion of George's birth, so it's not too crazy to think that the little prince may make an appearance at the zoo. The family will visit the bilgy enclosure as well as visit with kangaroos and other indigenous Australian animals.
April 22: A Trip to Uluru
The couple will leave George in Canberra to travel to Uluru, or Ayers Rock, in the Outback. They've been looking forward to visiting the natural wonder and meeting with the indigenous people in the area. According to William's secretary, it will be "a special moment" for the couple. Afterward, they will stay in the area before flying to Adelaide in South Australia the following day.
April 23: Skateboarding in Elizabeth
After arriving in Adelaide, the couple will visit the suburb of Elizabeth, which was named after William's grandmother. While in the town, they will visit the Northern Sound System, a youth center and music studio that works with young people. They will then watch a skateboarding display and attend a "lively reception" hosted by the governor and Premier of South Australia.
While all of this sounds like standard royal-tour fare, whenever Will and Kate are around young people, fun things happen. Who could forget when Kate met with a punk kid at a youth center in Quebec or when Will learned how to brush his shoulder off with a young woman at a reception for homeless teens (pictured) in London back in 2011?
April 24: Tree Planting
On their second-to-last day of their tour, Will and Kate will visit the National Arboretum, where they will plant trees and meet with local children and their parents. Before this, the couple will visit the National Portrait Gallery and then Parliament House, where William will give a speech.
April 25: Goodbye, Australia (and Yes, More Trees)
Before leaving Oz, Will and Kate will attend the ANZAC Day March and Commemorative Service at the Australian War Memorial, where they will — you guessed it — plant some more trees in the memorial garden. After saying goodbye to their hosts, the family will depart from Defence Establishment Fairbairn, Canberra, for London.