prince harry and meghan markle in sussex

Why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal tour will be a 'married couple' trip

It's very different to a single man's tour…

Ainhoa Barcelona

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are preparing to embark on their first major overseas tour, with stops in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga planned. They have an action-packed schedule of 76 engagements over 16 days, and according to a senior royal aide, their trip has been designed to reflect "the age of the Duke and Duchess and their interests". The aide added: "It's designed for the Duke and Duchess as a young married couple. It's a different type of visit from a single man's tour."

Harry has been on countless overseas visits before, but this will be Meghan's first major tour and she will be visiting some countries she's never been to. She will also take on two engagements without her husband in Fiji and will be reunited with one of the charities she used to work with before her marriage, as she hears more about a UN Women’s project called "Markets for Change". 

Harry and Meghan are carrying out 76 engagements in 16 days

The couple's royal tour will focus on youth leadership and projects being undertaken by young people to address the social, economic, and environmental challenges of the region. Harry is particularly keen to highlight these youth-led initiatives in his new role as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, and to shine a light on the work and aspirations of young people across the Commonwealth.

MORE: Kate's very artsy outing revealed - all the details

A major focus of the tour is the Invictus Games, which will launch in Sydney for 2018. Harry and Meghan very poignantly made their first official appearance as a couple at the Invictus Games in Toronto last year, two months before they announced their engagement.

Harry and Meghan visit their namesake county of Sussex:

Loading the player...

Their trip will also concentrate on environmental and conservation efforts, and a highlight will be a visit to the stunning Fraser Island. They will also get up close to koalas at Taronga Zoo and name a pair of Kiwi chicks in Rainbow Springs, New Zealand. Other highlights include meeting locals on Sydney's Bondi Beach, riding the tram in Melbourne and visiting Abel Tasman National Park in New Zealand.

MORE: Princess Eugenie shares special moment with sister Beatrice before royal wedding

Harry, 34, and Meghan, 37, will travel from 16 to 31 October, kicking off their tour in Sydney. But a few days before they jet off, the couple will attend Princess Eugenie's royal wedding on Friday 12 October in Windsor.

Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

More on: