Wills blows in to NQ
Prince’s cyclone tour
THE Queen’s grandson Prince William will visit parts of fl ood and cyclone-devastated Queensland this month.
No details are available concerning the visit, but a news release posted on the prince’s website stated that Britain’s second in line to the throne would arrive in Australia on March 19 from New Zealand.
He is expected to spend two days on his North Queensland trip.
The prince will then travel to Victoria where he will tour fl ooddamaged areas in the state’s north-west. The prince’s New Zealand itinerary includes an inspection of earthquake-damaged Christchurch.
He will attend a national memorial service in Christchurch and visit Greymouth near the site of the recent Pike River Mine disaster.
KATE Middleton will not join Prince William on his official tour to the disasterravaged zones of Australia and New Zealand this month.
In a carefully managed move by Buckingham Palace, the bride-to-be will instead stay in England where she is planning the royal wedding of the decade.
Despite undertaking their first official duties as a royal couple over the past three weeks, including visits to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, it is believed the Palace wants to pace Ms Middleton before she represents the royal family on the international stage.
Her every move is being monitored by royalob - servers and it would have been deemed unwise t o throw the 29-year-old into the deep end with a whirlwind tour of the two nations recovering from their darkest hours.
The Prince, who will marry Ms Middleton at West - minister Abbey on April 29 just four weeks after the tour, made the decision to visit after receiving invitations from Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, according to St James’s Palace.
Members of the royal household were ‘‘ shocked and saddened’’ by the lives lost and extent of damage in the recent string of natural disasters in the region.
The Prince has asked to meet with members of the e mergency services and other support services as well as survivors and those affected by the floods and quake.
The Prince last came to Australia and New Zealand in January 2010, when he paid a visit on behalf of the Queen to Auckland, Wellington, Sydney and bushfireaffected Victoria.
A St James’s Palace spokesman said: ‘‘ Prince William thoroughly enjoyed his visit to Australia in 2010 and has said that one day he would love to come back.’’
Australia may also have a second royal visit this year, with the Queen, who turns 85 next month, and Prince Philip who is 90 in June, tipped to visit Perth for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in October.
The Prince and Ms Middleton were rumoured to be considering an Australian honeymoon or visiting Down Under on their first official tour as a married couple.
But last month the Palace announced the royal couple would visit Canada in July on their first tour as husband and wife. Six weeks after their honeymoon the tough work begins with the twoweek, coast-to-coast tour.
The trip is reportedly being referred to within the Palace as the litmus test, where the public will judge whether Prince William has made the right choice of wife.
Prince William and f iancee Kate Middleton pictured a few days ago in Ireland
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NO SHOW: Kate Middleton will not be accompanying Prince William on his visit to the flood and cyclone-damaged areas of Queensland