The newly married Meghan Markle and Prince Harry recently announced their next trip, and almost every royal-obsessed American went, “awww!” This trip will serve as the couple’s first royal tour as a married couple, in that official capacity. It also features several adorable elements that point to their history, not only as a pair, but as royals. You won’t be able to contain yourself when you find out the sweetest part (No. 8).
1. This will serve as their first official tour as a married couple
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry | Yui Mok/AFP/Getty Images
- Royal fact: Both Prince Harry’s and Markle’s parents divorced when they were young.
According to InStyle, Kensington Palace revealed that the pair intends to visit Australia, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga, and New Zealand in the fall. Even though the couple has traveled together already, and will also set off on a honeymoon, this royal trip holds significance of its own. The royals tour the British territories in an official capacity, and this will also represent the first time the two do that together.
2. The governments of two countries invited them
- Royal fact: Both Diana and Markle got engaged a year after they started dating their own prince charming.
Kensington Palace said that the two did not decide to visit these areas, on their own. “Their Royal Highnesses have been invited to visit the Realms of Australia and New Zealand by the countries’ respective governments,” said an official statement, according to People.
“The Duke and Duchess will visit the Commonwealth countries of Fiji and Tonga at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.” While in each location, the pair will also meet with officials and hear about the needs of those places.
3. It will coincide with the Invictus Games
- Royal fact: Markle and Diana share an affinity for giving back.
The couple did not share specific dates in the announcement, but we do know the tour will coincide with the 2018 Invictus Games. Those will take place in Sydney, Australia, from October 20–October 28, according to Town & Country. While the royals likely will not stay for the entirety of the games, they have also said they do plan to attend at least some of the events.
4. Prince Harry created the games himself
- Royal fact: Both Diana and Markle attended all-girls schools growing up.
Prince Harry created the Paralympic-style sporting event as a way to recognize wounded soldiers, Time reports. For that reason, they hold a special place in his heart. In addition to holding a place in line for the throne of England, the prince also served in Afghanistan as part of the British military. Their visit there will show the couple’s support for the military and the sporting event, at the same time.
5. They previously made their first appearance as a couple there
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at the 2017 Invictus Games | Chris Jackson/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation
- Royal fact: Both Diana and Markle favor white T-shirts and jeans, as well as other iconic styles.
Prince Harry and Markle notably made their first public appearance as a couple there, Time reports. In 2017, they watched a match of wheelchair tennis. At the time, photographers totally ignored the court to snap photos of the pair, which quickly made hearts flutter around the world.
At the 2020 games, organizers expect as many as 19 countries to send teams. Events will include archery, wheelchair rugby, tennis, and a paratriathlon. We get sweaty just thinking about it.
6. Markle hinted about the trip before
- Royal fact: Markle comes from a more humble background than Diana, but both seem warm and approachable to their now-subjects.
Markle previously hinted about the trip when chatting with Michael Mellon, who competed at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto. “She told me she had never been to Australia but was going to this year’s event and really looking forward to being there with Harry,” he told reporters. That may not have foreshadowed the royal tour specifically, but it did give away some of the surprise. Can we blame her for getting excited?
7. Kate and William visited those areas, too
- Royal fact: Markle’s engagement ring includes some of Harry’s mom’s diamonds.
While Prince William and Kate Middleton didn’t head straight to Australia after their wedding, another tiny member of the family did for his first trip. The family visited in 2014 along with a small Prince George for their son’s first royal tour. They took a photograph in front of Ayers Rock, which holds iconic significance for both brothers.
8. The couple will also follow in Princess Diana’s footsteps
- Royal fact: Middleton, Markle, and Diana all came from non-royal families, which helps them instill a sense of normalcy in the family.
When Princess Diana and her then-husband Prince Charles got married in 1983, they took a similar trip to both of the newer royal couples. They headed to New Zealand and Australia for their first royal tour, taking many of the same photographs as her sons do, today. In that way, Markle and Harry take the “following in Diana’s footsteps” idea very literally. Does it get any sweeter than that?
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