King and Queen 'planning first trip to Australia and New Zealand'

King Charles III and Queen Camilla at the State Opening of Parliament onNovember 7 (via REUTERS)
King Charles III and Queen Camilla at the State Opening of Parliament onNovember 7 (via REUTERS)

The King is expected to make his first trip to Australia and New Zealand as monarch next year, according to reports in Australia.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported Queen Camilla would accompany her husband on the trip in October.

The trip has not been formally confirmed by Buckingham Palace, but would coincide with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Samoa, a source in the Australian government told the paper.

"It would be next October, it’s very possible it will happen. It would be around the time of CHOGM that he would come, either before or after, that would make sense," the government source told the publication.

The summit, which takes place every two years and includes the 56 Commonwealth member nations, is scheduled to start on October 21, 2024.

The late Queen made 16 visits to Australia during her reign, each accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh.

She first visited as monarch in 1954, having stopped in New Zealand en route, with the final visit in October 2011.

The royal couple’s final visit to New Zealand marked her Golden Jubilee in 2002.

Charles last visited New Zealand in November 2019 as then Prince of Wales, alongside Camilla. He visited Auckland, Waitangi, Christchurch and Kaikōura.

The royal couple last visited Australia in 2018. He stayed for a week and ventured into the Daintree Rainforest near Mossman Gorge, a 30 minuet helicopter flight from Cairns.

He was there to meet indigenous people to discover the traditions of its 50,000-year-old indigenous people. Charles marvelled at how the Kuku Yalanji aboriginals made use of the forest as a rich resource.

He also took part in a traditional smoking ceremony, said to help ward off evil spirits.

Buckingham Palace has been approached for comment.