A return Down Under has long been on the books for Kate and Wills after their last visit in 2014.
During that trip the then-infant George was dubbed the “republican slayer” for quelling national discussions about whether to remove his great-granny as Australia’s head of state.
New Idea understands that a royal visit was planned for the start of 2020, with William wanting to visit towns destroyed by that summer’s horrendous bushfires. But the pandemic promptly hit and the trip was shelved indefinitely.
When international borders reopened, Wills and Kate, both 40, floated the idea of a family holiday in Oz, but the feeling was they shouldn’t travel too far from the UK while the Queen’s health was starting to fail.
“They watched this year’s east coast floods with broken hearts, so they’ll definitely be wanting to visit victims in southern Queensland and New South Wales,” says our insider.
“The Prince of Wales also wants to make good on his promise to spend time with firefighters.”
As always, Kate is keen on highlighting anything to do with children and sports, so they’ll be looking into schools impacted by the pandemic and possibly something to do with the AFL Women’s competition in Melbourne.
It’s believed the giant plush toy wombat given to George, now 9, on his maiden voyage to Sydney sits pride of place in his bedroom. He, Charlotte, 7, and Louis, 4, are “incredibly excited” to visit.
“Charlotte and George are obsessed with nature shows thanks to their friendship with Sir David Attenborough. He told them they have to see the kangaroos and crocodiles of Australia,” says a close source.
“A trip to Australia Zoo will certainly be on the cards, too. Wills has done conservation work with Robert Irwin, who has promised to roll out the red carpet.”
It won’t all be cuddly koalas and oceanside photo opportunities for Australia’s favourite royal family.
“The main theme of any trip for any member of the family in the next 12 months will be honouring the Queen and ringing in the new era of King Charles III,” shares the palace insider.
“There will be a lot of hand-shaking and solemn remembrance in amongst what is sure to be a vibrant tour.”
At this stage, New Idea’s source believes the highly anticipated tour will likely be in April so the Wales’ can time it with a traditional appearance at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
This year Princess Anne made the trip to open proceedings on the Queen’s behalf. It should also coincide with the childrens’ term holidays from their new school, Lambrook.
“It’s a long way to go, and a lot of ground to cover, so there’s a lot of logistics to sort out between now and then,” says our insider.
“So far, the Wales’ main request has been keeping their family together as much as possible and minimising too much impact on the childrens’ schooling.”