The Most Surprising Place Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Will Visit on Their First Royal Tour

Just a few weeks after their wedding, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced their first royal tour as a married couple. Now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the two will visit a variety of countries in the fall. The royal family is very intentional about how and where it travels. So you can bet that a lot of thought has gone into the itinerary for the royal couple’s upcoming trip.

At least according to the information that Kensington Palace has released so far, Meghan and Harry will visit four countries on their first royal tour. Find out which of those destinations is the most surprising on page 7, and learn why the royal family picked each nation for Meghan and Harry to visit.

4. Australia

Sydney, Australia | iStock/Getty Images

  • How surprising is it? Not surprising at all.

Unsurprisingly, the royal tour will see Meghan Markle and Prince Harry visiting Australia when the 2018 Invictus Games are going on. The games will be held in Sydney. As Town & Country notes, the games are slated to run from October 20 to October 28. So even though Kensington Palace hasn’t shared the official dates or itinerary for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s tour, that gives you an idea of when they’re expected to visit Australia.

Next: You probably could have guessed they’d go to Australia because of this trip they made last year. 

Harry and Meghan made their first appearance as a couple at last year’s Invictus Games

meghan markle in white and prince harry in black attend the Invictus Games

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend the Invictus Games 2017. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation

Harper’s Bazaar points out that Australia is a fitting stop for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s first royal tour for another reason. They made their first joint appearance as a couple at least year’s Invictus Games in Toronto. Meghan was living in Toronto at the time, so the trip to the Paralympic-style sporting event didn’t exactly take her far from home. But Harry’s role as the creator of the multi-sport event seemed to make it a pretty good bet that the couple would attend the games this year, too. And Meghan’s comments to Michael Mellon, who competed at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, also telegraphed the pair’s intention to attend.

Next: In addition to Australia, they will also visit this country on their first royal tour. 

3. New Zealand

A small trip in Milford Sound, located in New Zealand, South Island

Milford Sound, located in New Zealand, South Island | Eduardo_Zapata/iStock/Getty Images

  • How surprising is it? Not particularly surprising.

Time reports that, as with Australia, New Zealand’s government has formally invited the couple to visit. So Meghan and Harry will head to New Zealand this fall on their royal tour. Prince William and Kate Middleton visited New Zealand on one of their royal tours, back in 2014. The trip saw them spending two weeks in Australia and New Zealand, and involved Prince George’s first royal engagements. But Stuff speculates that Meghan and Harry could be more adventurous than Kate and William in their choice of activities in the country.

Next: Kate and William were also following tradition when they visited New Zealand. 

Diana and Charles also visited New Zealand and Australia on their first royal tour

Princess Diana And Prince Charles watch an official event during their first royal Australian tour

Princess Diana And Prince Charles In Australia | Patrick Riviere/Getty Images

Time points out that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are following in the footsteps of Harry’s parents, Charles and Diana, who also visited New Zealand and Australia on their first royal tour. Harper’s Bazaar notes that that tour took place in 1983, and saw the royal couple traveling 23,601 miles and spending 41 days overseas. Another factor that makes this a less-than-surprising stop for the royal tour? Regular official visits take place between New Zealand and the United Kingdom, as both share the same queen, Queen Elizabeth II, at least for the moment.

Next: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will also travel to this country on their first royal tour. 

2. Fiji

palm trees on tropical Fiji Islands

Palm trees on tropical Fiji Islands | mvaligursky/iStock/Getty Images

  • How surprising is it? Somewhat surprising.

It makes sense that when they’re in New Zealand, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry would consider stopping by Fiji, about 1,300 miles away. As Time notes, it’s “hard to deny the romantic allure of Fiji.” (Its 333 islands make an iconic honeymoon destination, after all.) However, Fiji is a more surprising addition to the royal tour itinerary because of one unpleasant feature of the archipelago. Fiji is dealing with ongoing transmission of the Zika virus. And Express reports that that could prove problematic if rumors about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry wanting to start a family right away are true.

Next: The trip to Fiji is surprising for this reason. 

Queen Elizabeth has made many visits to Fiji, but not when Zika was a problem

Queen Elizabeth in Fiji

Queen Elizabeth in Fiji | The Royal Family via Facebook

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will follow in the footsteps of the queen herself when they visit Fiji. Queen Elizabeth II has made a number of visits to Fiji over the course of her monarchy. She visited in December 1953, February 1963, March 1970, October 1973, February 1977, and October 1982. The Mirror, however, reports that Meghan could skip the trip to Fiji if she becomes pregnant before October. Otherwise, the couple might wait to try to conceive until May 2019. That way, they would avoid the possibility of passing the virus on to a baby.

Next: They will also visit this unexpected country. 

1. Tonga

Cliffs on the southern shore of Tongatapu island in Tonga

Cliffs on the southern shore of Tongatapu island in Tonga | Donyanedomam/iStock/Getty Images Plus

  • How surprising is it? Pretty surprising.

Time explains that, as with their visit to Fiji, Meghan and Harry will head to Tonga at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (which “promotes the United Kingdom’s interests overseas“). Tonga and the United Kingdom don’t have particularly close relations. That makes the Polynesian state a somewhat surprising destination for Meghan and Harry’s first royal tour. However, RNZ recently reported that the island nation is hoping that the United Kingdom will reopen a mission in Tonga and re-engage with the South Pacific. Perhaps the royal tour shows the U.K. doing just that.

Next: It’s been a long time since British diplomats made a trip to Tonga. 

British diplomats haven’t visited Tonga in 12 years

Tongan PM Samuela 'Akilisi Pohiva Visits New Zealand

Tongan PM Samuela Akilisi Pohiva | Fiona Goodall/Getty Images for The Department of Internal Affairs

As RNZ points out, British diplomats haven’t visited Tonga in 12 years. Tonga’s prime minister, Akilisi Pohiva, said that a British move toward a closer connection with South Pacific nations would be “music to Tongan ears.” So the royal tour may come at the perfect time. As Elle reports, Kensington Palace says that the next six months for Harry and Meghan will be “very busy.” If we had to guess, that probably means that the couple likely has a challenging agenda ahead of them.

Read more: This Is What the Royal Family Actually Does Every Day

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