William, Kate to visit Australia in April

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit Australia and New Zealand in April next year, Kensington Palace says.

It is thought the royal couple are likely to take their baby son Prince George but a final decision will be made nearer the time.

The baby will be eight months old if he flies Down Under with his parents on his first official overseas tour.

The visit will echo the Prince and Princess of Wales' visit to Australia and New Zealand in 1983 when the couple took William, then just nine months old, with them.

Kensington Palace confirmed the trip but released no further details about the itinerary or how long it would last.

William and Kate's office said in a statement: "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit New Zealand and Australia in April 2014.

"Their royal highnesses have been invited to visit by the New Zealand and Australian governments.

"Further details on the exact dates and itinerary will be issued in due course."

William has travelled to Australia and New Zealand a number of times but Kate has yet to pay an official visit - although she and her husband created a stir last September when they flew to Brisbane airport to catch a flight home at the end of their South Pacific tour.

The Duke's last official trip to New Zealand and Australia was in March 2011, when he visited Christchurch, shortly after it suffered an earthquake, and Queensland and Victoria, which had been hit by floods.

In January 2010 he represented the Queen at the opening of the Supreme Court building in the New Zealand capital Wellington and also visited Auckland, and during the same trip travelled to Melbourne and Sydney.

If the tour follows the pattern set by other royal visits it will have formal and more relaxed elements.

PA

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