20 Dec 2013

Royal couple plans to visit NZ

9:49 pm on 20 December 2013

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

It is thought William and Catherine are likely to bring baby son Prince George, but a final decision will be made nearer the time.

The palace on Thursday confirmed the trip, but issued no further details about the itinerary or how long it would last.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said on Friday he was delighted that New Zealand will have the opportunity to welcome the couple.

Prince William has travelled to Australia and New Zealand a number of times, but Catherine has yet to pay an official visit.

The Duke's last official trip was in March 2011 when he visited Christchurch after devastating earthquakes, and flood-hit Queensland and Victoria. In January 2010, he attended the opening of the Supreme Court building in Wellington.

Republic campaign

A group pushing for New Zealand to become a republic says the royal tour is an opportunity to question whether the country should have its own head of state.

Republic New Zealand's spokesperson, known only as Savage, said it will try to run a campaign during the tour talking to the public about their thoughts on the monarchy.