King’s trip to Australia still being planned

Prince Charles and Camilla hold koalas in Australia in 2012
Australia has a special place in the King's heart - Chris Jackson

Plans for the King to visit Australia are still being drawn up despite his cancer diagnosis, as the government consults on the schedule for a royal tour in the autumn.

The King and Queen are pencilled in to travel in October and early November, coordinating with the Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Samoa.

The Australian government is now inviting submissions from premiers and chief ministers, as they decide which states or territories to include in a forthcoming tour.

The King and Queen had been expected to visit Pacific Commonwealth nations in a major tour for the new reign.

The King has since been diagnosed with cancer and has postponed public engagements while he completes treatment.

Prince Charles and Camilla taste wine in Australia in 2012
The King and Queen are pencilled in to travel to Australia in October and early November - Chris Jackson

In a statement, Anthony Albanese, the Australian prime minister said his government was making preparations for a visit by the King later this year.

It is understood that any such visit would still include the Queen too, and further travel to countries including New Zealand.

‘‘The King has shown his compassion for Australians affected by recent natural disasters, just as Australians have shown compassion and support for the King following his cancer diagnosis,’’ said Mr Albanese.

“The King, Queen and members of the Royal family are always welcome in Australia.

“My government is engaging with states and territories on options for a possible royal visit.’’

The trip would make him the first reigning monarch to visit Australia since 2011. He last went as Prince of Wales in 2018, with both Prince William and Prince Harry visiting with their own families in recent years.

The King last visited the country as the Prince of Wales with Camilla in 2018
The King last visited the country as the Prince of Wales with Camilla in 2018 - MARK METCALFE/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The country has a special place in the King’s heart, having made some 15 working trips there, and studying for a happy six months at the Timbertop, Geelong Grammar School in Victoria.

Buckingham Palace would not usually confirm travel arrangements until the autumn. The King’s programme will be decided based on his health, and how he responds to cancer treatment.

As Head of Commonwealth, he would ordinarily be expected at the heads of government meeting for the week beginning October 21.