The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall are delighted to be returning to Australia for the opening of the XXIst Commonwealth Games on Queensland’s Gold Coast. This will be The Prince’s sixteenth visit to Australia and The Duchess’s third official visit.
Beginning on Wednesday 4th April, Their Royal Highnesses will undertake a number of engagements in and around the Gold Coast and Brisbane. The Prince will then continue the Tour in Central and Far North Queensland followed by the Northern Territory, concluding on Tuesday 10th April. On Saturday 7th April, The Prince of Wales will pay a short visit to the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu.
As well as being an opportunity to celebrate the Commonwealth, in the run up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London, this Tour will focus on the themes of community; sustainability; and disaster recovery and resilience. The programme will also reflect The Prince's strong relationship with the Australian Armed Forces, as well as the work of Prince’s Trust Australia.
Their Royal Highnesses’ official programme will begin in Brisbane, where they will be formally welcomed to Australia by the Governor General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove, in a ceremony at Old Government House.
That evening, His Royal Highness, accompanied by The Duchess, will represent Her Majesty The Queen at the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, reading out Her Majesty's customary message, calling on athletes to come together in the spirit of friendly competition.
The Prince and The Duchess will visit the Athlete’s Village on the Gold Coast and meet competitors from across the Commonwealth. His Royal Highness will watch the Swimming Finals and present medals and, later in the Tour in Cairns, he will watch the Women’s Basketball.
Highlights of The Duchess of Cornwall’s programme include a visit with The Prince to the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane; and a tea which Her Royal Highness, as President of the Women of The World WOW Festival, will host for participants in WOW Brisbane which this year is celebrating the Women of the Commonwealth.
In Queensland, The Prince of Wales will visit the town of Bundaberg where he will tour the iconic rum distillery before joining a community celebration. His Royal Highness will also visit a coral cay on the Great Barrier Reef for a high-level roundtable on Coral Resilience convened by Prince’s Trust Australia. In Cairns, The Prince will visit the Royal Flying Doctors Service and the HMAS Cairns naval base, and he will also visit the Daintree Rainforest for a discussion on Sustainable Forestry.
Highlights of The Prince of Wales’s programme in the Northern Territory will include a visit to Nhulunbuy, on the Gove Peninsula, where he will learn about the work of Dhimurru Rangers who protect and preserve the land, meet the Gumatj Aboriginal Traditional Owners and view the work of local artists at the Yirrkala Arts Centre.
In Darwin, His Royal Highness will visit the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre, and tour the Larrakeyah Barracks, home to the North West Mobile Force (NORFORCE), where The Prince will meet military personnel and their families.
During his time in Australia, His Royal Highness will meet the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull and the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten.
The Prince of Wales’s short visit to Vanuatu will be an opportunity for His Royal Highness to join the people of Vanuatu, and their close Australian partners, to celebrate the recovery of those islands from the devastation wrought by Cyclone Pam in 2015; and to highlight the vulnerability of all Island nations to the growing threat of climate change. In the capital, Port Vila, His Royal Highness will meet the President, Prime Minister and representatives of the National Council of Chiefs, and he'll tour the Port Vila Central Hospital, which was severely damaged by Cyclone Pam and has since been restored with the assistance of the Australian Government.
Vanuatu had been due to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2017 but, because of the impact of Cyclone Pam, the meeting was moved to London in April this year. So The Prince’s visit to Vanuatu, as part of Their Royal Highnesses’ Tour to Australia, is a further opportunity to celebrate Commonwealth ties and solidarity in the run up to C.H.O.G.M. which Their Royal Highnesses will both attend just one week after the conclusion of this Tour.