UK royals to celebrate Queen’s diamond jubilee
AFP LONDON BRITAIN’S royal family will tour the globe next year to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee marking 60 years on the throne, Buckingham Palace announced on Wednesday.
Prince William and his wife Catherine will travel to the Asia-Pacific region, while heir to the throne Prince Charles and his wife Camilla will visit countries including Australia and Canada, it said.
The queen, 85, and her husband Prince Philip, 90, will remain in Britain but will travel as widely as possible throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the palace said.
“Members of the royal family will travel overseas representing the Queen throughout the Diamond Jubilee year, visiting every Realm as well as undertaking visits to Commonwealth countries, Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories,” a Buckingham Palace spokesman said in a statement.
The world tour adds to events at home in Britain marking the jubilee, including a massive pageant on the River Thames involving up to 1,000 boats and the lighting of beacons across the country.
In what is likely to be the most high-profile part of the itinerary, William — the queen’s grandson and second in line to the throne — will travel with Catherine to Malaysia, Singapore, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.
The tiny Pacific nation of Tuvalu has not had a royal visit in decades. When the queen and her husband toured it in 1982 they were carried shoulder high by islanders into the capital Funafuti as they sat in canoes.
Prince Harry, William’s younger brother, will meanwhile make his first solo trip overseas on behalf of the queen, touring Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas.
William and Harry’s father Prince Charles will travel with Camilla to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Charles will also visit the Channel Islands off the coast of France.
The Falkland Islands in the southern Atlantic Ocean, the object of a 1982 British- Argentine war, will receive a visit from a minor royal, the queen’s first cousin Edward, the Duke of Kent.
However Prince William is set to be stationed there for six weeks as a Royal Air Force rescue pilot early next year, a move that has angered Buenos Aires, where the islands are known as Las Malvinas.