LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife Camilla will visit Australia and New Zealand in November as part of the celebrations to mark Queen Elizabeth’s 60 years on the throne, a royal spokesman said on Wednesday.
As well as the usual round of political, military and religious engagements, the royal couple will watch the Melbourne Cup, one of the world’s biggest horse races.
Britain has already enjoyed a summer of celebrations for Elizabeth, the only British monarch other than Queen Victoria to have reigned for 60 years. Queen Elizabeth is head of state in both Australia and New Zealand.
Other British royals have also toured the world as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebration: Prince William and his wife Kate have just visited Asia in a trip overshadowed by the publication of topless pictures of her in a French magazine.
Charles, the longest serving heir to the British throne, will celebrate his 64th birthday on November 14 in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand.
The tour will start in Papua New Guinea, the Pacific island state off the north coast of Australia that Charles first visited as a teenager in 1966.
The royal couple then travel to Australia for a busy six-day program. They will meet members of the Australian Defence Force and the emergency services as well as farmers and school children.
The last leg of the trip takes them to New Zealand from November 10-16, with the focus on agriculture, business and sport.
Keen to promote literacy, Camilla will take part in an event with young fans of New Zealand author Lynley Dodd, who created the bestselling “Hairy Maclary” children’s stories about a dog’s adventures with his canine friends.
Reporting by Peter Griffiths; Editing by Alessandra Rizzo, editing by Paul Casciato