Kensington Palace has confirmed that Prince William and Kate Middleton will be taking Prince George with them on their royal tour of Australia and New Zealand.
The adorable royal tot, who is third-in-line to the throne, will be making his first official overseas tour and his parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are said to be “looking forward to it immensely”.
George will be a mere eight-months-old at the time, but travelling at such a young age is not a first for the British royal family. Back in the spring of 1983, William – who was nine-months-old – joined his parents Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana on their official tour of the two countries.
“It has not happened in this Royal Family’s context for many, many years, so there has been much to think about, as any new parent travelling long distance will recognise,” said Prince William’s private secretary Miguel Head at a press briefing.
“One or two engagements across the three weeks have been identified as times when the Duke and Duchess might take Prince George along, too,” said Miguel.
“But, George, being just a little over eight-months-old by the time they travel, I’m sure you will appreciate that the couple will have to make a final decision on those moments much closer to the time. The Duke and Duchess are content enough to know that he will be with them in the two countries.”
The Duchess and Duke of Cambridge
William, 31, and Kate, 32, have enlisted the help of their new nanny to look after baby George on the trip. On some parts of the tour, George will be left in the care of his nanny, including when William and Kate travel to South Island, New Zealand for two days and during their visit to Uluru in central Australia.
Royal watchers may also get a glimpse of George when the royal family stay at Government House in Wellington, New Zealand. William and Kate will attend an engagement to recognise the work of the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society – an organisation that provides health care and support to new mothers, fathers and their babies.
A host of new mums and their babies will meet the couple and may even be introduced to baby George. “It is too early to know whether Prince George will be present at this occasion but it is a possibility,” said Miguel.
William, aged nine months, accompanies his parents on tour
One of William and Kate’s engagements that will no doubt be particularly touching to the new parents is a visit to Taronga Zoo. The Sydney attraction named its bilby enclosure after the young prince and dedicated it to him as a birthday gift.
Throughout the trip — which takes place from Monday 7 April to Friday 25 April — William, Kate and George will be accompanied by their entourage including Miguel, the Duchess’ private secretary Rebecca Deacon, Sir David Manning, three press officers, a tour secretary, a personal assistant, a hairdresser and an orderly to help manage logistics.