Royal tour: Meghan and Harry heading Down Under
PRINCE Harry and wife Meghan will make an official tour of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific in October, Kensington Palace has confirmed.
The newly-weds will embark on their first major international visit with a four-country tour which will also take in Fiji and Tonga.
The tour will be built around the pair's commitments to the Invictus Games sporting event in Sydney from October 20-27.
Confirming wide-spread speculation about the trip, Kensington Palace has confirmed the popular pair will undertake an autumn tour (spring in Australia) and that it would be an official visit.
The couple will follow in the footsteps of Prince Harry's parents, Charles and Diana, whose first overseas tour after their marriage also took in Australia and New Zealand.
Prince Harry, a former soldier who served in Afghanistan, founded the Invictus Games in 2014.
More than 500 competitors from 18 nations will compete in 11 sports during the games, where the royal couple will each receive an Akubra hat specially crafted for them.
It's unclear if they'll also make time to meet the two koalas joeys named after them at Sydney's Taronga Zoo.
Kensington Palace said more details about the tour will be released "in due course".
"Their Royal Highnesses have been invited to visit the Realms of Australia and New Zealand by the countries' respective governments,'' Kensington Palace said.
"The Duke and Duchess will visit the Commonwealth countries of Fiji and Tonga at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.''
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has welcomed the announcement.
"As part of Their Royal Highnesses' official engagements in Australia, they will attend the Invictus Games in Sydney.," Mr Turnbull said in a statement.
"As the founder of the Invictus Games, The Duke of Sussex has become a champion for war veterans around the world, including in Australia.
"His attendance, alongside The Duchess of Sussex, will be a wonderful highlight for the more than 500 competitors and thousands of spectators.
"I know the Australian people will greet Their Royal Highnesses with great warmth and excitement wherever they go during their time here.
"Lucy and I look forward to hosting their visit and watching the remarkable feats of Invictus athletes from around the world."
The couple are believed to have returned from their honeymoon recently after a stunning wedding in May that was watched by an estimated 1.9 billion people, making it the most-viewed event in history.