December 20

Prince William: Visit details

Statement by Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, Private Secretary to Prince William about Prince William’s forthcoming visit to New Zealand and Australia

14th December 2009 

[*Note: This has been edited to move details of the New Zealand tour to the end of this document.]



The genesis of the visit Down Under was an invitation by the New Zealand Government to The Queen of New Zealand inviting her to open the new Supreme Court building, which is in Wellington. 


Prince William was delighted to be asked by The Queen to represent Her Majesty on this important occasion in New Zealand, a country of which he is enormously fond having visited previously in 2005. 

Prince William’s visit to New Zealand is an official visit during which he will be representing The Queen. He will be accompanied throughout the visit by the Prime Minister of New Zealand, which is a great honour for The Prince. 

The visit will allow him to build upon some of the many good friendships he forged there in 2005. 

Prince William’s visit to Australia has come about at his own request, to enable him to begin to get to know the country and the Australian people.

The visit is unofficial, although The Prince will carry out a number of public engagements while he is there. These will be in line with his personal interests: young people in society, the Armed Services and environmental issues.

The Australian Government has been exceptionally kind in putting together the programme with us. Private time has also been built into the programme so Prince William can get to see a bit of Australia for himself. 

Prince William will arrive in Auckland on a scheduled flight on Sunday 17th January at around lunchtime. He will be greeted on arrival by the Governor-General, Sir Anand Satyanand, and The Prime Minister, John Key.

[ Further details on the New Zealand visit are posted below ] 



On arrival in Australia, the Prince will be met in more low-key fashion, in keeping with the unofficial nature of the visit. However, he will head straight to Admiralty House in Sydney, the Governor-General’s Residence, where he will be greeted and officially welcomed to the Commonwealth of Australia by the Governor-General, Ms. Quentin Bryce.

 At Admiralty House, the Governor-General is very kindly hosting a lunch for Prince William, where he will have a chance to meet some prominent young Australians. 

Following the lunch, Prince William will visit a Community Centre, which is a wonderful project for Aboriginal and Indigenous peoples in an inner suburb of Sydney. It runs day classes, after-school classes and activities and many other drop-in services for all ages.

On arrival, The Prince will receive a traditional Aboriginal welcome. He will then tour the centre, meeting elderly people through to young children and teenagers.

Prince William is particularly keen to visit the centre since its work improving the life chances of young people shares much in common with charities such as Skill Force, Centrepoint and others of which he is Patron in the UK. {mosimage}Prince William will then call on the Governor of New South Wales, Dr Marie Bashir, at her residence, Government House.

After their short meeting, Prince William will spend the evening privately. 

On Wednesday, Prince William will start the day with a visit to Holsworthy Barracks, in the Sydney area. There he will join a company of soldiers from the 3rd Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment and participate in live fire training at the Marksmanship Training Range at the barracks.

He will subsequently meet privately with Special Operations Command soldiers. For Prince William, as a serving officer in the Royal Air Force and previously with the Household Cavalry, meeting fellow Australian Servicemen and women is of enormous personal importance and interest to him. 

Following his visit to Holsworthy, Prince William will return to Sydney city centre where he will visit Southern Surveyor, a leading environmental research ship, which will be moored alongside.

There, he will have a chance to meet scientists and view some of the extraordinary technology that allows Australia’s marine science community to research changes in the region’s seas and oceans.

As some of you may know, whilst at university Prince William as part of his degree course conducted research on the environmental impact by climate change on marine life.

He also, with his brother, Prince Harry, made a private visit to the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge in 2008 to further his knowledge of this important area. He takes a close personal interest in climate change, particularly in the context of oceanography. 

After Southern Surveyor, Prince William will attend a barbeque lunch hosted by the Premier of New South Wales, Kristina Keneally, at a city centre location.

The lunch will be attended by a large group of young Sydneysiders, and Prince William will be invited to say a few words to the assembled guests. 

Following the lunch, Prince William will spend a private afternoon in the Sydney area. Prince William’s father and brother both have very fond memories of Australia, its people, its lifestyle and its natural beauty, and Prince William wants to experience a little of that for himself, too. 



On Thursday, Prince William will travel to Melbourne, in the state of Victoria, where his day will be dominated by visiting the areas affected by the devastating bushfires that took place in February this year – the anniversary of which will be fast approaching when Prince William visits.

In February this year, 173 people died, the highest ever loss of life from a bushfire. Over 2,000 houses were destroyed, and many more livelihoods. Over 7,500 people were made homeless. This tragedy was truly unprecedented, and, like many people, Prince William followed the news at the time very closely indeed.

You may recall that he and Prince Harry sent a video message of support – their first ever video message – to memorial concerts that took place in Melbourne and Sydney. They visited Australia House to sign a book of remembrance started by their grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh. The Queen and the Prince of Wales separately paid their respects. 


The Princess Royal Princess Anne attended a memorial service in Melbourne and toured the affected region. The Queen received the Premier of Victoria this summer at Balmoral so that Her Majesty could hear about the great efforts being made to restore the area and its people.

In this context, Prince William will be visiting the region both as a representative of the Royal Family and to see the ongoing work of recovery for himself. His day will begin in the affected area with a briefing by emergency services and others on what happened in February. He will then go out on the ground. Prince William will then attend a community event being held in the bushfire affected area.

Prince William will meet many people who lost their homes in the tragedy. The Prince will also be invited to plant a tree as a symbol of new growth in this devastated landscape. The event will be very enjoyable and upbeat, with a barbeque and a local sports match. 

After the community event, The Prince will visit an Educational Centre, which was utterly destroyed. Under the inspirational direction of its owners, the centre is being re-built even better than before, incorporating strong ecological principles.


During the course of the day, therefore, Prince William will have spent time hearing first-hand about the fires. He will have a chance to see what arrangements are in place now to help those whose lives were dramatically affected – and then he will have a chance to glimpse the future that is being planned by inspirational Victorians to rebuild their lives. 

On his return to Melbourne, Prince William will call on the Governor of Victoria at Government House, Prof. David de Kretser. He will then attend Victoria’s Australia Day reception, hosted by the Governor and accompanied by the Premier of Victoria, John Brumby. Prince William will make a speech.

He will then have a chance to meet a number of Victorians, before planting a tree near those planted by many other Members of the Royal Family, including his parents.

….return to flying training…

 Following the reception, Prince William will spend a short, private evening in Melbourne before boarding a scheduled flight back to London. 

The Prince begins the new component of his flying training – the Search and Rescue conversion course – at RAF Valley on the Monday immediately following his return. He is using a week out of his entitled annual leave for the visit to New Zealand and Australia, so as not to impact on his flying training. 

Prince William is really looking forward to this. It is going to be a high point for him over the next year. He came away from New Zealand in 2005 incredibly fond of the country and longing to get back there.

  …New Zealand details…..

Prince William’s first engagement will take place at Eden Park that afternoon. Eden Park is New Zealand’s centrepiece stadium for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. When the site is finished, it will be a fantastic venue, of which the New Zealanders are rightly very proud.

This visit reflects Prince William’s interest in rugby specifically – you will recall that his 2005 visit to New Zealand was to follow the Lions tour – and, more generally, his interest in sport as a means of engaging young people. At the site, The Prince will tour the construction area, and then meet some All Blacks on the pitch afterwards, and watch some young people playing rugby.

 Prince William will then travel from Eden Park to Auckland harbour, where he will board a New Zealand yacht that was an early trial boat for the America's Cup in the 1999-2000 series in Auckland. which New Zealand won. The Prince will join the crew and sail out onto the harbour. 

Later that evening, Prince William will attend a hangi at the Governor-General’s Residence, Government House, in Auckland. The guest list will include a number of young New Zealanders.

 The following day, Monday, Prince William will travel to the capital, Wellington. On arrival at Wellington, he will go immediately to the National War Memorial, where he will lay a wreath and pay his respects to New Zealand’s fallen Servicemen and women. 

You may recall that Prince William laid a wreath at the same site in 2005. While there The Prince will inspect a 100-strong Guard of Honour, whose members he will have the chance to talk to in a more informal setting later. Some of them will have served in Iraq, Afghanistan and East Timor alongside our own forces and international forces.

A 21-gun salute will be fired by the New Zealand Army to mark this occasion. Prince William will then travel the short distance to the new Supreme Court building – the centrepiece for his visit Down Under. On arrival, he will be greeted by a traditional Maori welcome, and he will be invited to greet the elders of the tribe in the traditional way with a hongi, which is the pressing of noses. 

The Prince will then proceed on a tour of the new building, before entering the new court room, where he will be invited to deliver an address. Before leaving the building, The Prince will unveil a commemorative plaque. On his way to attend a private lunch with members of the judiciary and Government, Prince William may perhaps have a chance to meet members of the public outside. 

After lunch, Prince William will visit a wildlife sanctuary. The Prince will meet a kiwi (the national symbol of New Zealand); he will meet members of the local iwi, and have the chance to explore this very beautiful sanctuary. Prince William is particularly keen to visit this site.

As you may be aware from his Patronage of the Tusk Trust, Prince William has a great personal interest in wildlife conservation and habitat management; the site he will be visiting is a shining example of conservation, not just in New Zealand but globally. 

In the evening, Prince William will attend a barbeque kindly hosted by Mr. Key, the New Zealand Prime Minister. Here The Prince will have further opportunity of meeting young New Zealanders and building on friendships he made in 2005. 

The following day, Tuesday, Prince William will visit children’s wards at Wellington Children’s Hospital. The Prince has requested this visit as it will further his knowledge of and interest in the welfare of young people, building on such events as his time spent with WellChild children in Cumbria earlier this year.

On departure, he will unveil a plaque commemorating his visit, before taking his leave of the Governor-General and the Prime Minister at Wellington Airport, and embarking on an Royal New Zealand Air Force flight to Sydney, Australia.


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