Good morning everyone, Their Royal Highnesses are going to undertake an official visit to New Zealand from the 17th to the 23rd of November. This is at the invitation of the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her government. Their Royal Highnesses were delighted to accept the invitation, which gives them the opportunity to return to New Zealand together for the third time.

The Prince, after New Zealand, will travel on to visit Tuvalu and the Solomon Islands, which are both in the Pacific and are both realms. They are both places where The Queen is the Head of State, this is an opportunity to really celebrate and renew that bond between those realms and the monarchy.

In New Zealand, Their Royal Highnesses will start in Auckland where they’ll arrive on the 17th November. During the course of the programme The Prince and The Duchess will visit different projects and organisations that are working in the areas about which Their Royal Highnesses are particularly passionate and to which they are committed. So for The Prince this means a focus on young people, youth opportunity, as well as environmental issues with a particular focus this time on issues around tackling plastic waste.  

The Duchess will focus on her key themes, including domestic violence and literacy. As part of that programme in Auckland, Their Royal Highnesses will be welcomed formally at Government House by the Governor General and they will also meet with The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern. Later on, The Prince and The Duchess will visit a neighbourhood in Auckland and will visit community based projects that are working on a range of social issues to help and support young people and create new opportunities.

After Auckland, Their Royal Highnesses will travel North to the Northland region and to Waitangi, where they will visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and there they will receive an official welcome from The Māori. This is an opportunity to honour the relationship between the Crown and The Māori people. The Prince has been to Waitangi before, he was last there in 1994 and this will be The Duchess’s first visit.

Later on, The Prince and The Duchess will travel to Christchurch, this is an opportunity for them to see how the city is doing and see first-hand the resilience of the city since the dreadful earthquake in 2011. The Prince and The Duchess have been to Christchurch since then but they are very keen to go back and celebrate the remarkable story of recovery and regeneration. It is also an opportunity, while they are in Christchurch, to see how the community have rallied around since the dreadful attacks on the mosque in March this year, to meet members of that community and to demonstrate their solidarity and support for a community that has suffered so much.

After Christchurch, The Prince will travel up the coast of the South Island to Kaikōura. There he is going to meet people who have been involved in the effort to put the town back together, quite literally, and to restore the railroad connections following the earthquake that they suffered more recently in 2016 which had a profound effect on the town. Again, it has demonstrated remarkable resilience as it has recovered and put itself back together. The Prince wants to go and celebrate that and to show his support for that community.

At the end of the New Zealand programme, Her Royal Highness will return to the United Kingdom while The Prince will travel on to Tuvalu, which is the smallest of the realms where he will receive an official welcome, attend a reception, and meet as many people as he can in that community. The focus there is really going to be on environmental issues. As you will all know, Tuvalu really is up there on the frontline of the struggle against climate change. The Prince has been following that situation very closely and he is glad he will have the opportunity to go and see for himself what they are doing to combat climate change and the effects on those islands, and again to demonstrate his support for a community that is facing such a difficult situation. There will also be an opportunity there for The Prince to particularly focus on young people, a number of whom have been doing quite remarkable things to contribute to the debate about climate change and its effects on the islands.

The Prince will then go on to the Solomon Islands. This will be The Prince’s first visit to the Solomon Islands, although he has had the good fortune to meet and know a large number of Solomon Islanders over the years. He is very pleased to have the opportunity to visit the island for himself. There will be a public moment in this programme, which will be an opportunity for the Islands to welcome The Prince but also for him to meet as many members of the community as he can, and to celebrate their culture.

We are also looking at a focus on that programme on issues around the oceans and again climate change, there are some big environmental challenges in this part of the world and The Prince is keen to understand those and lend his support to some of the efforts to address them. As part of that, he will particularly be interested in some of the issues around fisheries management in the Pacific for which the Solomon Islands is a particular hub.